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.

Blaze at psychiatric hospital near Moscow leaves 38 dead

A fire at a psychiatric hospital outside Moscow killed 38 people early this morning, many of them patients who burned to death while under heavy sedation.

Anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny: Fraud case is ‘political revenge’

The opposition leader Alexei Navalny gave a grand-standing speech in his opening remarks to the provincial court trying him on embezzlement charges. Mr Navalny, an anti-corruption blogger who led street protests against President Vladimir Putin, dismissed the case as “political revenge”.

Boston Marathon bombing: Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have met Dagestan rebels

As US investigators attempt to piece together the motivations and allegiances that led Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to bomb the Boston Marathon, attention is turning to the six-month stint that Tamerlan spent in southern Russia in early 2012. He stayed with his father in Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan, the mountainous republic in southern Russia that borders the family’s ancestral homeland, Chechnya.

Ennis: 'I will never forget the noise'

Jessica Ennis leads golden return to Olympic Stadium for Anniversary Games

Gold medal winners from 'Super Saturday' will all be in action

Postcard from... Moscow

Sergei Magnitsky: The lawyer died in custody after helping to expose a large tax scam

US risks angering Russia by publishing blacklist

Diplomatic friction as Washington names Russian officials banned over Magnitsky affair

Chelsea player Ryan Bertrand
Ashley Cole

Rafael Benitez 'feeling good' over injuries to Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole

Pair expected to miss Europa League tie on Thursday

Former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler cancels Russian gigs over country's 'human rights crackdown'

Mark Knopfler has cancelled two shows in Russia in protest over what he says is a crackdown on human rights groups in the country.

A graffiti with a sign reading

'Russian Banksy' Pasha P183 dies aged 29

A prominent Russian graffiti artist who hid his identity behind the tag Pasha P183 and has been compared to Britain's Banksy has died aged just 29.

Pietro Mennea pictured in 1978

Former 200-metre world record holder Pietro Mennea dies

The Italian held the record for 17 years

Rafael Benitez takes a Chelsea training session

Rubin Kazan switch Europa League tie against Chelsea to Moscow

The move will make the tie closer to London

Russia drops inquiry into death of Sergei Magnitsky

Investigators have dropped an inquiry  into the death in jail of Sergei Magnitsky, stating that the whistleblowing lawyer’s agonising death, which became an international scandal, was not the result of malpractice.

Wealthy Russian expats in Cyprus face added pressure from home

One thing wealthy Russians will have learned this weekend is that when a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That is now certainly the case for those who have invested heavily in Cyprus, where the 10,000-strong Russian community is thought to have as much as €35bn in deposit accounts.

Usain Bolt got the better of Yohan Blake over both 100 and 200 metres in London

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake back together in Jamaica relay team

Usain Bolt will run in the same 4 x 100m relay team as Yohan Blake at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava in the Czech Republic on 27 June.

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Day In a Page

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine