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

Red Fortress, By Catherine Merridale: Book review

The corridors of Russian power are studied through the history of the Kremlin

Keeping the Litvinenko papers secret will smooth the path of one possible Putin successor

Putin's chief of staff Sergei Ivanov was well known to the murdered double-agent

Vladimir Putin is awarded grandmaster rank in taekwondo and given black belt - despite not practising the sport

Russian president now ranks higher than Chuck Norris in South Korean martial art

Putin is a 'proud buff dude' and Russia should not be vilified for anti-gay laws ahead of Sochi Olympic Games, says US swimmer

Richard Alther appeals to Russia President to treat gay athletes with compassion and respect

Greenpeace activists hold a demonstration during the Champions League match between Basel and Schalke

Arctic protest banner by Greenpeace receives frosty reception from authorities during Champions League match

Uefa opens disciplinary proceedings against FC Basel after four abseiling environmentalists stopped play during fixture against Schalke

Syria crisis: John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov announce 'constructive' Geneva meeting to continue in New York as US and Russia push for 'Geneva 2' peace talks

The international envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, today held a three way meeting with John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov as key talks in Geneva enter the second day.

Alexei Navalny speaks to the press outside his headquarters in Moscow, Russia

Moscow mayor election: Defeat for Vladimir Putin’s biggest rival Alexei Navalny may yet be a pivotal moment

Anti-corruption candidate sought votes by attacking Russia’s president

Boris Berezovsky was found dead at home last year

Moscow demands seizure of Boris Berezovsky’s Serbian assets

Moscow is trying to seize assets in Serbia allegedly belonging to the late Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, in an apparent attempt to claim some of what may be left of the fortune of Vladimir Putin’s once bitter foe.

On my own: Vladimir Putin walks alone through the streets of St Petersburg

Russian President Vladimir Putin cut a lonely figure today after he was spotted wandering by himself through the streets of St Petersburg.

Alexander Lebedev urges US taxman to look at GE

A striking theme of the court case was the length to which GE goes to avoid paying US taxes. Although based firmly in the US, Gecas and PK were were technically established in low-tax Shannon in Ireland and Luxembourg.

Russian President Vladimir Putin holding a huge pike fish, after he caught it in the Tyva during his holiday

'It was this big' Really? Russia thinks there's something fishy about Putin's 26 pound pike

'This pike weighs no more than 26.5 pounds' one commentator noted. 'Unless it swallowed a bar of gold'

UK bars are increasingly joining the Russian vodka boycott

No equal rights, no vodka nights: gay clubs boycott Russian imports

Popular British gay bars and nightclubs have joined a global boycott of Russian vodka brands following allegations of human rights abuses by Vladimir Putin’s government.

Vladamir Putin in his aquatic vehicle

Mission implausible: Vladimir Putin dives to bottom of Gulf of Finland in search of another photo op

Last time Vladimir Putin went into the sea for a photo opportunity, he brought back from the depths a collection of shards of ancient pottery (which later turned out to have been planted for him to find).

Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov

Chechen militant, Doku Umarov, targets Winter Olympics in Sochi

Russia’s most wanted terrorist has vowed to cause havoc at next year’s Winter Olympics in a chilling video message posted online.

A TV screen shows a news report about Edward Snowden in Hong Kong

Vladimir Putin confirms Edward Snowden is still in Moscow airport and blocks US extradition demands, as Venezuela says it would consider asylum request

Russian President says former CIA employee remains a free man, and the sooner he chooses destination the better

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project