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
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions