News Dima Litvinov became the first member of the so-called 'Arctic 30' to leave Russia; boarding a train at a railway station in St. Petersburg

The first of 30 Greenpeace activists arrested after a protest over Arctic oil drilling has left Russia, the environmental group said on Thursday, with all expected to get clearance to leave Russia by Friday.

Gazprom closes in on Sibir as it doubles stake in oil firm

Troubled rival encourages investors to accept offer of 500p pence per share

Gazprom buys 16 per cent stake in Sibir

The Russian energy giant Gazprom yesterday swooped to buy 16 per cent of Sibir Energy, for 70p a share more than TNK-BP, the Anglo-Russian group that is a minority shareholder in the company, was believed to be willing to pay.

Boris Fyodorov: Politician and businessman who fought against corruption in Russia

With his tall frame and thick-rimmed glasses, Boris Fyodorov looked every part the Russian bureaucrat. He twice served as finance minister, went on to found an investment bank, and was one of the greatest reformers to guide his troubled country through the death of the Soviet Union. A fierce individualist, Mr Fyodorov held a strong belief in the power of the market economy.

Leading article: Russia is feeling the full force of the world's economic storm

This crisis holds special dangers for a land with such fragile institutions

Archer and Black could escape Lords ban

Plan to expel peers in wake of cash scandal may not be retrospective

Ukraine: Russia demands impossible gas route

A top Ukrainian official says Russia is trying hard to discredit Ukraine by sending natural gas intended for Europe on a technically impossible transit route over Ukraine's vast pipeline system.







Deal to restore EU gas supplies from Russia suffers late setback

A deal that would have restored the flow of Russian gas to Europe was on the brink of collapse last night, only hours after it was signed.

Gas flare-up may light way to a cohesive EU energy plan

Wrangling between Russia and Ukraine has left their western neighbours cold, but it will cost them dearly if Europe chooses to seek alternative sources

Russian gas supplier warned to honour obligations

The head of Russia's monopoly gas supplier was warned today to honour the company's obligations to the European Union or face the loss of reputation and revenues as western customers looked elsewhere.

Mary Dejevsky: Russia does not hold all the cards in a game both sides could lose

Compared with the alarm spreading across Europe as gas supplies falter, the approach of the Russian and Ukrainian companies concerned has seemed positively relaxed. Only today, now that Orthodox Christmas is over, are officials to meet, their first meeting since Russia cut the amount of gas flowing to Ukraine on 1 January.

Leading article: Dependence on Russian energy places Europe at risk

The EU must ensure that no one can hold it to ransom in future

Jeremy Warner: Perils of being beholden to the Russian bear

Outlook Well, there's one thing Britain has managed to get right about its energy policy – thus far at least. The UK uses hardly any Russian gas. Unfortunately, that hasn't made the country entirely immune to the continuing row over access to the Ukrainian pipeline which supplies the majority of Russian gas to Europe.

Gazprom and the struggle for power

Gazprom is now so powerful that it is capable of freezing much of Europe. Sarah Arnott reports

New cold war in Europe as Russia turns off gas supplies

Fears of a deep chill spread across Europe yesterday after a row between Russia and Ukraine over gas prices cut supplies to the rest of the continent on a day of plummeting temperatures and heavy snowfalls.

Russia gas disruption bites in Europe

Russia halted gas supplies via Ukraine to the Balkans, Turkey and south-eastern Europe today and flows to EU-member state Austria dropped by 90 per cent in a deepening price row between Moscow and Kiev.

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas