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

US and Russia clash over Syria at UN

The United States and Russia clashed over Syria at the U.N. today after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the divided Security Council to speak with one voice and help the Middle Eastern nation "pull back from the brink of a deeper catastrophe."

President Dmitry Medvedev (left) will reopen case of former oil tycoon, Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Medvedev vows to reopen controversial Khodorkovsky case

Muscovites went to bed on Sunday with Vladimir Putin breathing patriotic fire into the microphone in front of tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters.

Vladimir Putin’s supporters rally in Manezhnaya Square last night

Critics cry fraud as poll gives Putin third term in Kremlin

President, then Prime Minister, and now President again as Russia's most powerful post-Soviet leader reasserts his grip

Economy class: most passengers expect Putin to be re-elected President of Russia today

Train 109 reveals a Russia resigned to Putin's return

Passengers voice their dissatisfaction before today's presidential elections

Constitutionally, President Dmitry Medvedev is the most powerful man in Russia

Forgotten man – Medvedev fades from public view

Amid all the commotion surrounding Vladimir Putin's likely return to the Kremlin, one man has been surprisingly quiet.

Leading article: Russia's new reality calls for a new-style president

The first requirement is that these elections be free and fair, but it’s hard to be optimistic on this score
The latest polls suggest Russia’s Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, will win Sunday’s presidential poll

Mary Dejevsky: Russia is changing and Putin must, too

The first complete book that any British student of Russian is likely to read in the original is Fathers and Sons, a novel by Ivan Turgenev. There are all sorts of reasons why that might be.

Leading article: All too convenient for Mr Putin

Now it may be true, and it ill behoves anyone in a country that has experienced acts of terrorism in recent memory to cast aspersions on claims made by the authorities in another, similarly afflicted, country. But yesterday's revelation from Russian state television about a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, cannot but raise suspicions that something else, or something additional, may be in play.

Opposition supporters carry white ribbons during the rally in Moscow

Protesters encircle Moscow city centre in anti-Putin rally

Tens of thousands of Muscovites formed a human chain and encircled the centre of their city yesterday, in the latest protest against Vladimir Putin.

Ksenia Sobchak is calling for a change in leadership, opposing the man her father mentored

'Russian Paris Hilton' criticises Putin's leadership

Russia's answer to Paris Hilton has emerged as a surprise critic of Vladimir Putin in a protest movement that has pitted the wealthy socialite against the man her father mentored.

The pro-Putin rally was held on Defenders of the Fatherland day, a national holiday that replaced the Soviet-era Red Army Day

Putin takes a rock-star approach to campaigning

Moscow rally proves presidential hopeful never does things by halves. Shaun Walker reports

The pro-Putin rally was held on Defenders of the Fatherland day, a national holiday that replaced the Soviet-era Red Army Day

Thousands march in pro-Putin campaign rally

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin today warned against the dangers of foreign influence at a campaign rally attended by tens of thousands of people.

Poll predicts first-round Putin victory

Vladimir Putin will be elected President in the first round of next month's election with more than half the vote, avoiding a run-off that would dent his authority, a state pollster predicted yesterday.

Exiled Russian billionaire Yevgeny Chichvarkin has funded the trip

The Russian satirical poet, his billionaire backer and a tour that Putin won't find funny

Mobile phone tycoon Yevgeny Chichvarkin is paying for performers to fly to the UK to perform work aimed at Kremlin

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, has urged Vladimir Putin to give up power

Putin has exhausted his potential, says Gorbachev

Vladimir Putin has "exhausted" his potential as Russia's leader, Mikhail Gorbachev said yesterday, warning that the Prime Minister's inability to change the political system might prompt further anti-government protests.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'