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.

EU mobilises over gas supply crunch as Ukraine accuses Russia of "manipulation"

Representatives from all 27 European Union member states met in Brussels yesterday to discuss the implications of Ukraine's gas crisis for its Western neighbours.

Russia-Ukraine gas row disrupts supplies to EU

Russia and Ukraine looked no closer to compromise today over a gas row that has disrupted supplies to at least four European Union countries as they face freezing winter temperatures.

Gas war prompts crisis talks in Brussels

Europe starts to feel the pinch as Russian and Ukrainian state-run energy giants trade blows. David Randall reports

Ukraine 'steals gas owned by EU' says Russia

European countries began to suffer from reduced gas supplies yesterday after Russia cut deliveries to Ukraine in a contract dispute.

Blackout fear for EU as gas row escalates

Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine yesterday in a dispute over unpaid bills that rang political alarm bells across the European Union, which imports up to 40 per cent of its natural gas from Russia, the bulk of it through Ukraine.

Russia sharply reduces gas supplies to Ukraine

Russia sharply reduced gas supplies to neighbouring Ukraine today after a row over unpaid bills and prices, raising the spectre of supply disruptions to the European Union.

Russians cut off gas supplies to Ukraine

Russia's state gas monopoly Gazprom said it would cut off gas supplies to Ukraine today after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on how much Ukraine will pay in 2009.

Paying the piper: Gazprom stokes Europe's concerns

As Russia again threatens to cut Ukraine's gas supply, Sarah Arnott surveys a battleground of economics and power politics

Former Soviet states bring new intrigue to England's campaign

In the hills above Yerevan stands Tsakhadzor, the old Soviet Olympic training complex. Five years ago it was an eerie place, the crumbling accommodation blocks and moss-covered swimming pools standing like a ruined Inca city, abandoned in haste after some long-forgotten catastrophe.

BP faces endgame

The struggle for control of BP's Russian joint venture TNK-BP has escalated into open warfare, with a restriction on working visas that could see some of the company's most senior expat staff sent home

BP dismisses $250 oil, Russia row grows

Peter Sutherland, the chairman of BP, has branded as "apocalyptic" predictions of $250 for a barrel oil from Gazprom, Russia's state-backed energy giant, as the tortuous negotiations between BP and its own Russian partner took yet another twist.

An ominous warning that the rapid rise in oil prices has only just begun

The chief executive of the world's largest energy company has issued the most dire warning yet about the soaring the price of oil, predicting that it will hit $250 per barrel "in the foreseeable future".

Fresh pressure on BP as its chief in Russia faces inquiry

TNK-BP chief executive to be interrogated by Russian investigators over 'corporate tax evasion'

Gazprom plots UK expansion, but buying Centrica is a pipe dream

Gazprom plans to grow its UK market share by a factor of 10 within five years but has no near-term plans to buy Centrica, the chief of the UK business said.

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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there