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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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain