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.

Jenny Meadows

Heartbreak for Jenny Meadows as injury rules 800m runner out of second successive season

The 32-year-old missed last year's Olympic Games

In this image made by a mobile phone camera, people leave a subway station in downtown Moscow after a rush-hour fire in Moscow's Metro

Rush-hour fire halts Red Square trains on Moscow Metro

Dozens treated for inhaling smoke and seven in hospital after thousands evacuated

More than six years after Politkovskaya (right) was shot at her Moscow apartment building, Rustam Makhmudov (left), the suspected killer, two of his brothers and two other defendants, including his uncle, face murder charges for the second time

Anna Politkovskaya murder trial is rerun six years after fatal shooting of anti-corruption journalist

Russia began a second bid to convict the suspected killers of prominent Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya at a pre-trial hearing on Monday, but her family said the question of who ordered the murder was unlikely to emerge from the case.

Jailed Pussy Riot member sent to hospital due to hunger strike

A jailed member of the punk group Pussy Riot has been taken to hospital on the seventh day of a hunger strike to protest at what she calls a persecution campaign.

Bill Browder: The financier is seeking justice in the death of a whistle-blower

Russian bid to keep tabs on London based campaigner fails

Financier Bill Browder is at forefront of a campaign seeking justice for Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian lawyer who exposed corruption before dying in a Moscow prison

Alexander Lebedev says charges are 'fabricated'

The businessman Alexander Lebedev told a Russian court that he did not understand the accusations against him of “hooliganism motivated by political hatred” that could see him jailed for up to five years.

Russia claims to have foiled possible terror plot

Russia's counter-terrorism agency says it killed two militants it believes were planning a terrorist act in Moscow and detained a third.

Alexander Litvinenko: The former KGB agent died from polonium-210 poisoning in 2006

Widow of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko says coroner 'abandoned search for truth' and calls for public inquiry into his death

The widow of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko has called for the inquest into her late husband's death to be abandoned and for a public inquiry to be held in its place.

Vladimir Lenin is once again on display to visitors in Moscow's Red Square as mausoleum reopens

Shaun Walker meets the Communist party faithful as the Soviet leader goes back on display

Peter Eriksson

UK Athletics rocked by announcement Peter Eriksson is to stand down as head coach

The Swede replaced Charles van Commenee last October

Red-handed? Russia ‘catches CIA spy on Moscow recruitment mission’

Shaun Walker on the scarcely believable tale of the wig-wearing diplomat expelled from Moscow

Russia homophobic murder: Two detained after man is beaten and tortured to death in anti-gay attack in Volgograd

Victim had been drinking with two men, who allegedly started beating him when he revealed he was gay

Postcard from... Moscow

Vladislav Surkov was responsible for modernising the Russian economy at Mr Putin’s behest

A last audience for Vladimir Putin's 'grey cardinal' as the architect of Kremlin policy, Vladislav Surkov, quits

The man behind Russia’s tightly controlled political system, has resigned – but did he jump or was he pushed?

Alexander Lebedev appears in court over punching property tycoon Sergei Polonsky on Russian television show

Alexander Lebedev, the Russian businessman whose family owns The Independent, appeared in a Moscow courtroom today to hear charges read against him that could land him in prison for up to five years.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
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Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
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Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
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Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

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Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution