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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee