Arts and Entertainment

One of the most brutal battles of the Second World War was the Nazi offensive against Stalingrad where atrocities were committed on both sides and the soldiers also had to contend with starvation and freezing conditions during a lengthy siege.

Pope Francis: 'I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it'

Pope Francis has his feet on the ground but he may be too late to save the Church from the damage of sex abuse scandals

Is he doomed to play the role of Mikhail Gorbachev to an organisation long as secretive as the Kremlin?

Roger Bannister celebrates with Chris Chataway in 1954 as he becomes the first man to run a sub-four minute mile

Sir Chris Chataway: A boy’s own hero who was truly one of a kind

Sir Chris Chataway, the former world-record runner, acted as pacemaker to help Roger Bannister break the four-minute mile barrier. And he achieved so much more

The eye of the storm: Speakes in the White House in 1982

Larry Speakes: Press secretary to Ronald Reagan who later admitted he had put words into the president’s mouth

An assassination attempt plunged Larry Speakes into the brightest of national spotlights as chief spokesman for President Ronald Reagan. When Reagan’s press secretary James Brady was severely wounded in the 1981 attempt on the president’s life, Speakes was thrust into the eye of the storm. As White House spokesman for six years, a long tenure in the sensitive post, he was credited with 2,000 news media briefings.

(From left) Remington Chase, Gerard Butler and Stepan Martirosyan worked together on ‘Motor City’

LA confidential: The criminal backstory of Hollywood’s ‘biggest’ independent movie financiers

Remington Chase and Stepan Martirosyan have twin convictions for cocaine trafficking and went by aliases

Aleksandr Naumov, 'Oil', 1927

The Golden Age of Soviet film posters

New exhibition opens in London to commemorate Soviet film artists

Alexei Volodin, classical review

Wigmore Hall, London

National Archives: When Mikhail Gorbachev was left outside No 10

When planning a visit, it is often wise to check that your host will be in. It might be imagined that such niceties of etiquette would apply particularly when popping in on the Prime Minister – but not if you are Mikhail Gorbachev.

People gather at the site of an explosion on a trolley bus in Volgograd. President Vladimir Putin has vowed to annihilate 'terrorists' following two deadly bomb attacks in less than 24 hours

President Putin vows to 'annihilate' terrorists after Volgograd suicide bombings

Double bombings have killed at least 34 people

Curwen: Oleg Gordievsky called him and his colleagues 'the real defenders of democracy'

Sir Christopher Curwen: Security services officer

Head of MI6 whose achievements included bringing the double agent Oleg Gordievsky out of the Soviet Union

Mikhail Kalashnikov dies: Five quick-fire facts about the AK-47 inventor

Mikhail Kalashnikov dies: Five quick-fire facts about the AK-47 inventor

As the Russian engineer passes away, aged 94, here are five quick-fire facts to get you up to bullet-speed, pronto

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To me, Christmas is little more than a Trivial Pursuit (literally)

Trivial Pursuit is our Christmas miracle, something that takes us back to a time when I was a toddler, the USSR was going strong, and Maggie Thatcher was at No. 10

Who said it: Joseph Stalin or Oliver Cromwell?

Vladimir Putin has compared Joseph Stalin with 17th century Roundhead leader Oliver Cromwell, saying there was no difference between the two men.

Alexander Litvinenko is pictured at the Intensive Care Unit of University College Hospital in 2006 - secret services allegedly asked the late spy to provide 'expert analysis' on a confidential Foreign Office report

Alexander Litvinenko case: Coroner will not consider Russian involvement in his death

The British coroner examining the death of an ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko has today ruled the question of whether Russia was responsible will be withdrawn from the scope of the inquiry.

Hathaway after a fire at the US Embassy in Moscow; he had refused to let in firemen, suspecting some may have been KGB agents

Gardner Hathaway: Intelligence officer whose resourcefulness during the Cold War made him highly esteemed by his colleagues

Gardner Hathaway was a CIA chief of counter-intelligence whose career took him to Cold War focal points ranging from Berlin to Moscow and placed him at the centre of many espionage episodes. Taciturn but courtly, "Gus" Hathaway was an undercover officer known for his mastery of espionage tradecraft and his aggressive efforts to best the KGB. "Gus was a risk-taker," said Jack Downing, a former CIA deputy director of operations. "We needed good intelligence, and we needed to be aggressive to get it. He was canny and smart."

An estimated 200,000 anti-government demonstrators converge on Independence Square in central Kiev

EU halts Ukraine talks over ‘unrealistic’ demands

Arguments and demands of president and his government “have no grounds in reality”

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home