Voices Pope Francis: 'I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it'

Is he doomed to play the role of Mikhail Gorbachev to an organisation long as secretive as the Kremlin?

Yegor Gaidar: Economist and politician who oversaw the Soviet Union's transition to capitalism

Rarely has a great nation's destiny been entrusted to one so young as Yegor Gaidar. He was only in his mid-thirties when he was economics minister and acting prime minister of Russia, and he served in those posts for little more than a year, between 1991 and 1992. But in that short period, Gaidar's "shock therapy" – the removal of price controls, massive public-spending cuts and a first wave of privatisation – forced his country to make the horrendously painful but historically vital transition from the backward, non-functioning Soviet system into the modern capitalist era.

The Vietnam vet who thinks MTV can make the world a better place

Bill Roedy runs MTV in 162 countries and hopes to unite people through music, with help from Fidel and Bono. Ian Burrell reports

James Fergusson: Obama is haunted by Gorbachev's ghost

No invading army has ever 'won' in Afghanistan, and nothing unites the people more than infidel soldiers on their holy soil

Mary Dejevsky: Cool realism is a political virtue, too

No ideological recipe or vision could have replaced sound judgement in 1989

When East met West: How Germany became one

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany's landscape has changed dramatically. Foreign correspondent Rupert Cornwell returns to his old stamping ground

20th anniversary special: Two days that destroyed a wall – and a world order

It divided a city, a nation and a continent. Twenty years ago, Berliners took a hammer to history. David Randall and Tony Paterson give an hour-by-hour report on the end of the Cold War

The fall of the wall: Red dusk was a rare bright spot in 20th century

The defeat of Nazi Germany was the Soviet Union's only service to humanity, writes Rupert Cornwell. Communism had to die, as it was alien to our nature

Adam Roberts: The peaceful revolution of 1989

Apart from civil resistance, one crucial factor was the huge role of Gorbachev

Archie Brown: It was events in Moscow in 1988 that led to the revolution of 1989

The growing freedom within the Soviet Union did much to raise expectations throughout eastern Europe, but the change in Soviet foreign policy was, however, the ultimate facilitator of all that happened in 1989.

Trabant parade remembers the first crack in Berlin Wall

A procession of restored Trabant cars streamed through a replica of a metal gate this weekend, commemorating the place and time, 20 years ago, when Hungary and Austria opened the first breach in the Iron Curtain and, in former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's words, "took the first brick out of the Berlin Wall".

Mary Dejevsky: The revolutions of 1989 will shape the leaders of tomorrow

China's students found inspiration in Russia, but also closer to home

Dying for democracy: Tiananmen Square, remembered

Twenty years ago, a peaceful student protest in China's capital sparked a massacre that was broadcast across the globe. But did it really change anything? Eyewitness Mary Dejevsky looks back

Valentin Varennikov: Soviet general who helped lead the attempted coup against Gorbachev

To the end, Valentin Ivanovich Varennikov was a believer in an uncompromising Communist Russia under firm rule at home and a feared superpower on the world stage. That was why, as deputy defence minister and commander of Soviet ground forces in August 1991, he was one of the leading figures in the abortive plot to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev –a plot of which his only regret was that it failed.

Gorbachev: the model for the Obama doctrine

In the first of a series of articles marking his first 100 days, Rupert Cornwell assesses his foreign policy

Mary Dejevsky: World leaders can make a difference

We have an example within living memory of leaders who acted at a crucial juncture
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor