Travel Passengers dine in the restaurant car of the Red Arrow to St Petersburg

For 150 years the railway line between Moscow and St Petersburg ran as straight as an arrow for 403 miles. Straight, but for one big bend near Novgorod. The story goes that Tsar Nicholas was so fed up of officials dithering over the route that he plonked a ruler on the map and drew a straight line between the two cities, accidentally drawing around his finger in the process. Too terrified to point out his error, the builders constructed the railway with the Tsar's bump in place.

Jessica Ennis in action at the Olympic Stadium

Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis to return to Olympic Stadium as it hosts the British Athletics London Grand Prix

Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis will be back in the Olympic Stadium, on the anniversary of the Olympics Opening Ceremony, which is to host a Diamond League Athletics Grand Prix.

Sergei Magnitsky: The Russian lawyer, who uncovered the fraud, died in prison in 2009

Lithuanian prosecutors open investigation into multi-million dollar tax fraud by Russian organised crime group

Prosecutors in Lithuania have opened an investigation into a multi-million dollar tax fraud carried out by a Russian organised crime group which used the Baltic nation’s banks to launder some of their money.

Mo Farah is playing catch-up after taking an extended post-Olympics break: 'I am not in terrible shape but I am behind my training partner'

I'm playing catch-Rupp in training, admits Mo Farah

Mo Farah admits he is playing catch-up after taking an extended post-Olympics break. "I am not in terrible shape but I am behind my training partner – a month and bit behind him," the 5,000 metres and 10,000m gold medal winner confessed.

Aslan Usoyan survived an attempt on his life in 2010; a sniper’s bullet killed him

The death of Moscow's Don: Aslan Usoyan gunned down outside his favourite restaurant

Shooting of crime boss has stoked fears of gangland reprisals

Visas – an expensive and time-consuming necessity for a trip to Moscow

Q. On a whim I booked two cheap flights to Moscow in June for me and my 11-year-old daughter. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but since booking I have looked into obtaining visas and it seems like a minefield of red tape. Can you help? Matt Denby, West Yorkshire

Video emerges capturing moment car is hit by wheel of crashing Russian jet in accident that killed four people

Investigators are examining flight recorders and other evidence to try to determine the cause of a plane crash in Moscow that left four people dead

Sergei Magnitsky’s mother, Nataliya Magnitskaya, grieves for her son in 2009

Prosecutors drop charges in Magnitsky killing to leave family at square one

Relatives fear they will never know the truth about anti-corruption lawyer's death in police custody

Gennady Fedosov: Diplomat who promoted friendship with the West

Many people in the arts, commercial, political and sporting life of London will not have forgotten the witty, charming and erudite Gennady Fedosov, who was the Soviet Union’s minister for cultural Affairs in the Soviet Embassy in London. During a fraught period of the relationship between Britain and Russia, Fedosov was a beacon of friendship and understanding.

The NBC television crew were held by a militia group loyal to President Assad

Kidnapped journalists escape during firefight in Syria

Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for the US network NBC, told yesterday how he and his television crew were kidnapped for five days by Syrian pro-regime gunmen who subjected them to mock executions and kept them bound and blindfolded.

Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov is said to have arranged the killing of Anna Politkovskaya at her Moscow flat

Murdered Russian journalist's son seeks 'open trial' of former policeman

The family of a murdered journalist expressed cynicism as the trial of a former police officer implicated in her killing began in Moscow.

Postcard from... Delhi

Spend two days in Delhi, India's capital and the second biggest city in the country, and your snot will be black.

Postcard from... Moscow

In recent decades, many cities have made the transition from industrial to post-industrial, with power stations and factories converted into loft accommodation or cultural centres. Moscow is unique in the number of industrial zones that remain within the city – there are 209 functioning industrial areas inside the city bounds, some of which are right in the centre.

Last count: Cubans at a Mayan ritual last week

Doomsayers await the end of the world – on 21/12/12

But governments try to reassure their citizens not to panic

Sergei Magnitsky, the lawyer
who died in a Russian jail
after investigating fraud

Magnitsky affair row grows as Russia threatens to reveal banned US officials

Moscow retaliates to new US law with its own blacklist of Americans accused of rights abuses

Key players in the Magnitsky case

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Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

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Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
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Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
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With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
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Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
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From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
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Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable