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.

the classified document outlines a highly-sensitive inquiry into the claims that the elderly Nazi was killed on British orders to preserve wartime secrets

Adolf Hitler's Nazi deputy Rudolf Hess ‘murdered by British agents’ to stop him spilling wartime secrets

Surgeon claims Hess was killed on British orders to preserve wartime secrets

Secret Nixon tapes reveal intimate chat with Brezhnev - including smoking tips

Secretly recorded conversations show then US president and Soviet leader chatting warmly before summit in 1973, about subjects including smoking and getting through an official dinner with jetlag

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Joan Iyiola in A Season in the Congo

Theatre review: A Season in the Congo, Young Vic, London

It's six years since we last saw him on stage giving an award-winning portrayal of Othello at the Donmar Warehouse. Now Chiwetel Ejiofor is back and in magnificent form as Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the newly independent Congo, in Joe Wright's production of this 1966 play by Aime Cesaire about the fraught political struggles that led to Lumumba's CIA-endorsed assassination after barely seven months of power. 

Nadezhda Popova: Soviet pilot known as 'the Night Witch'

Nadezhda Popova was part of a unit of Soviet women pilots who flew old biplanes to bomb the invading Germans. As the Wehrmacht approached Moscow in 1941, Stalin, influenced by Marina Raskova, one of very few women in the Soviet air force before the war, agreed to set up a women’ s air force unit, a night bomber regiment. From mechanics to navigators, pilots and officers, it was composed entirely of women.

Gyula Horn: Politician who helped bring down the Iron Curtain

Gyula Horn: Politician who helped bring down the Iron Curtain

Gyula Horn was the last Communist Foreign Minister of Hungary, who started opening the Iron Curtain. On 27 June 1989 he joined Alois Mock, the Austrian Foreign Minister, to pull down a section of the barbed wire dividing their countries. During the following months thousands of East Germans used the route to emigrate to Austria and West Germany. It was the beginning of the end for East German Communism. In Hungary Horn is better known for a massive austerity programme when he was Prime Minister in 1995. The package sparked massive opposition.

Peter Sellers, as President Merkin Muffley in Dr Stragelove, using the mythical red phone

Washington's big red phone to the Kremlin is the stuff of Cold War fantasy

Direct communication between the superpowers was never established with a direct, dedicated phone line, it has emerged.

Kremlin suspends election watchdog for failing to register as 'foreign agent' under controversial new law

Russia’s only independent election monitoring group has been shut down for six months after failing to register as a “foreign agent” under a controversial new law. The legislation requires any organisation receiving funds from abroad to label itself a “foreign agent”, or face fines and closure.

Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev invited Mr Cameron to visit when he was at the Olympics

Cameron will go to Kazakhstan despite dubious record on rights

PM to visit dictatorship that is expected to play key role in Afghanistan military withdrawal

Exhibition of the week: Propaganda: Power and Persuasion, British Library

Propaganda has become a dirty word but it remains a much-employed tool, as this provocative show proves. Posters, films, cartoons and tweets expose the mind-boggling ways in which states from over the world have tried to exercise their powers of persuasion in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union

Former Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev, admitted to hospital for tests

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union, has been admitted to the Kremlin hospital in Moscow for tests, amid growing concern over his health.

Viktor Kulikov, right, is congratulated by then Russian acting President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony marking Defender of the Fatherland Day, at the Kremlin in 2000

Marshal Viktor: Kulikov Soldier and key figure in the Warsaw Pact

Viktor Kulikov was among the very last survivors of the old Soviet military establishment, a Second World War veteran unswerving in his lifelong communism and suspicion of the West, who rose to be the top commander of the Warsaw Pact and a key figure in the crisis that led to the imposition of martial law in Poland in 1981.

The Weekend’s Viewing: It’s not easy being a deep-cover KGB agent in Eighties America

The Americans, Sat, ITV / Spying on Hitler’s Army: the Secret Recordings, Sun, Channel 4

Rebecca Front and Jessica Hynes in Up The Women

TV review: The Americans and Up the Women - Women who kick ass and crochet? I'd vote for that

The early days of the suffragettes deserve better than a micro-budget sitcom on BBC4. At least ITV snuck a no-nonsense Soviet-agent housewife into its schedule last night

One Minute With: Frank Westerman, travel writer/ historian

Where are you now and what can you see? I'm in the Dutch "highlands". No windmills but beautiful "Ruysdael" clouds drifting over.

Vladimir Lenin is once again on display to visitors in Moscow's Red Square as mausoleum reopens

Shaun Walker meets the Communist party faithful as the Soviet leader goes back on display

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...