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

An airing for Russia's dirty laundry

British court case will give an insight into the post-Soviet carve-up, predicts Shaun Walker
President Vladimir Putin who was re-elected in May

Kremlin set to target NGOs by branding them 'foreign agents'

Russia is expected to pass laws next week which will impose harsh regulations on all foreign-funded non- governmental organisations involved in political activity.

Sergey Lavrov accused the United States of adding to the bloodshed by supplying weapons to rebels

Moscow returns fire by accusing US of arming Syria's rebel forces

There are fears for the plight of the people of al-Haffa which has been under siege for eight days

Vladimir Putin's Olympics snub welcomed by British MPs

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be coming to the London Olympics.

Both Syrian sides to blame for deaths, says Russian Foreign Minister

Russia further backed away from its support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying his government bears the main responsibility for the violence in the country and calling for a full investigation into its role in the deaths of more than 100 civilians in Houla.

Vladimir Putin names new Russian cabinet

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a new Cabinet, warning that it will have to fulfil its duties in a difficult global economic climate.

Vladimir Putin pulls out of planned visit to the United States

Russia's President Vladimir Putin will skip a planned visit to the United States this month for a key global summit and a much-anticipated meeting with President Barack Obama, the Kremlin confirmed today, as he faced pressure from protests and opposition criticism at home.

Leading article: Vladimir Putin must avoid going back to the future

A close election in France and a fractious one in Greece combined to keep Vladimir Putin's return to the Russian presidency out of the headlines. And his inauguration yesterday, while long on pomp, was conspicuously short on content. Yet his job swap with Dmitry Medvedev, who is expected to become Prime Minister in days, can take Russia in one of several directions.

Vladimir Putin sworn in as Russia's president amid protests

Vladimir Putin took the oath as Russia's president today with a ringing appeal for unity at the start of a six-year term in which he faces growing dissent, economic problems and bitter political rivalries.

Kofi Annan demands end to Syrian violence

Syrian troops have shelled and raided opposition strongholds nationwide, activists said, prompting an urgent appeal by international envoy Kofi Annan to the Syrian regime to halt violence "without conditions" and give his truce plan a chance.

Onegin, London Coliseum

Rejected Onegin, by the man she loves, Tatiana has a nightmare. In the Eifman Ballet’s version of the Pushkin story, the poor girl goes to Vegas in her dreams, tormented by red-clad rock musicians with terrible hair. This updated ballet plunges into cheesy extremes whenever it gets the chance.

Obama caught on open mic making promises to Russia

President Barack Obama had to engage in some damage limitation yesterday after comments he made to Russia's leader were picked up by an open microphone.

A boy looks at cars hit by Syrian army artillery in the town of Sarmeen

Annan heads to China with plans to end Syrian conflict

Former UN leader visits Beijing after winning Russian backing for negotiated peace deal

Russia softens and offers to back Annan's Syria plan at UN

Russia offered heavily-qualified support yesterday for a United Nations initiative to end the bloodshed in Syria, as opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's regime faced an intensifying struggle to oust him.

August 8th, the rival Russian film of Hollywood's Five Days of War

Georgia and Russia resume hostilities – on the big screen

Rival productions offer very different accounts of 2008 military conflict

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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss