Moscow - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
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.

Egypt's Army Chief and Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, right, walks with Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu

Red carpet for Russians fuels speculation over Egypt's US alliance

Some analysts interpret Moscow delegation's trip as a shot across Washington's bows

Women's football: Birmingham Ladies make debut on St Andrew's turf

Birmingham City Ladies will make history this evening when they appear at St Andrew's for the first time for the second leg of their Women's Champions League last-16 tie.

Rachael Neustadt with her children, from left, Meir, Jonathan and Daniel

Mother Rachael Neustadt’s fight to return sons from Russia blocked by Moscow court

A former teacher whose Russian ex-husband refused to return their two sons after they went for a visit to Russia has suffered a setback in her landmark legal fight to win them back.

Alvaro Negredo tucks home City’s third

Manchester City 5 CSKA Moscow 2 match report: Alvaro Negredo hat-trick and Sergio Aguero double sends City through and Russian fans packing

Ever since Malcolm Allison declared that his club would now hurl themselves on “the cowards of Europe” and promptly got himself knocked out in the first round by Fenerbahce, the European Cup has cast its shadow over Manchester City.

Putin is a 'proud buff dude' and Russia should not be vilified for anti-gay laws ahead of Sochi Olympic Games, says US swimmer

Richard Alther appeals to Russia President to treat gay athletes with compassion and respect

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s father arrives in Moscow

Lon Snowden expresses gratitude to Russia and Putin for providing safe haven to the NSA whistleblower

Book review: One Night in Winter, By Simon Sebag Montefiore

Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, the author of two books on Stalinist Russia, has also turned his hand to fiction. Inspired by "several true stories", this latest novel revisits Moscow during the last years of Stalin, the Red Tsar – an era characterised by paranoia and high-level betrayals. As the book's epilogue reminds us, "the familiar dilemmas of family life, the prizes and perils of children, adultery and career, have higher stakes than if the story was set in Hampstead."

'I must go': Elton John is due to perform in Moscow and Kazan
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is protesting against “slave labour”

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova goes on hunger strike in jail

A jailed member of the punk band Pussy Riot has launched a hunger strike to protest against living conditions in prison which she says “treat women like cattle”.

Armed Russian security officers storm Greenpeace ship and hold 30 activists at gunpoint, environmental group says

Activists have issued a plea to Vladimir Putin to order the Coast Guard - a branch of Russia's Federal Security Service - to 'holster their guns'

Farah is the current Olympic and world champion in the 5,000m and 10,000m

Mo Farah thinks about going for golden treble in Rio

Mo Farah could conceivably target a golden treble at the next Olympics, according to the great Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie.

A psychiatric hospital was destroyed by fire in the Novgorod region town of Luka.

Thirty-seven die as 19th Century wooden psychiatric hospital in Russia burns down

Fire is thought to have been caused by a patient either smoking or setting himself alight

Alexei Navalny speaks to the press outside his headquarters in Moscow, Russia

Moscow mayor election: Defeat for Vladimir Putin’s biggest rival Alexei Navalny may yet be a pivotal moment

Anti-corruption candidate sought votes by attacking Russia’s president

Opposition candidate in Moscow mayoral election, Alexei Navalny

Moscow mayor election: Alexei Navalny demands new vote after losing to Vladimir Putin's key ally Sergei Sobyanin

Allegations of 'clear falsifications'  by the Putin-backed incumbent lead to calls for a run-off vote and threats of public protest

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