Arts and Entertainment Ellie Goulding has refused to sing at the Sochi Winter Olympics due to Russia's anti-gay laws

The singer turned down a request to sing at the Sochi opening ceremony

Leading article: An election warning to Mr Putin

There is a cheap and cynical point that could be made about the outcome of Russia's parliamentary elections. With official results showing that Vladimir Putin's United Russia lost more than 60 (of its 315) seats and turnout registering a 10-point decline, how much worse would the results have been for the ruling party if the process had been truly free and fair? The more significant point, though, is that even with what the OSCE called "severe problems with the counting process" and "an election administration lacking independence", the political picture in Russia suddenly looks more complicated, more interesting and more hopeful than for years.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (left) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speak to their supporters in the United Russia ruling party's campaign staff in Moscow

Muscovites protest at Putin election victory

'They have stolen our votes', the biggest opposition rally in recent history is told

A man walks past by a huge Parliamentary election campaign poster of the United Russia ruling party depicting President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in Moscow

Putin's party sees majority slashed

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party saw its majority in Russia's parliament weaken sharply, according to preliminary election results released today, a humiliating setback for the man who has steadily tightened his grip on the nation for nearly 12 years.

Amember of a sports club casts her vote yesterday at a polling station in Barnaul, the capital of the Altai region

Putin's party set for a narrow election win

Despite widespread reports of electoral fraud, Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party failed to secure a huge victory in yesterday's parliamentary elections, early results show.

Putin suffers a poll setback amid claims of electoral fraud

PM's popularity slumps despite reports of ballot stuffing and multiple voting

Russian exit poll shows voters abandoning Putin

Exit polls cited by Russian state television are showing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party tallying less than 50% of the vote in Russia's parliamentary election.

Dmitry Medvedev speaks to young scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs at the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management in October 2011

Mary Dejevsky: Russia Notebook, Part 3

Obninsk 'science city', Novosti building. and Skolkovo - Medvedev's pet project

Putin's come back

Putin plays to the crowd as he prepares presidential return

Vladimir Putin accused the West of meddling in Russian politics yesterday, in a carefully choreographed event during which he was officially nominated by his United Russia party to run for a return to the presidency next year.

Vladimir Putin tours the Volkswagen assembly plant in Kaluga in 2009

Mary Dejevsky: Russia Notebook, Part 1

The new face of travel, consumerism, an investment experiment and the German touch

12 more years of Putin? No thanks, say Russians in musical protests

The song asks pertinent questions: why is there a hole in the budget? Who stoleGazprom?

Post-Soviet deals come to light as Russian oligarchs go to High Court

Chelsea FC's owner, Roman Abramovich, and exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky go toe to toe tomorrow

Russians seem resigned to Putin's big return

A few were ecstatic; some were distraught and said they would emigrate. But away from the flag-waving of the United Russia party congress and the hand-wringing of the liberals on Twitter, most Russians simply shrugged at the news that Vladimir Putin is on his way back to the Kremlin.

Putin announces plan to return as Russian president

All-action premier is moving back into the top job – and could hold power for almost as long as Stalin

Proms 65/67, Hamelin/Goode/BBCNOW/Steen//LSO/Davis, Royal Albert Hall (3/5, 5/5)

Michael Berkeley’s Organ Concerto had its premiere in Ely 24 years ago, but it’s only now had its London premiere.

Soldier escapes slavery after 11 years – and is arrested for desertion

A Russian soldier who says he escaped after spending the past 11 years as a slave in the North Caucasus, could face charges of desertion from the Russian army in a case that has shocked the country.

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