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 long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea