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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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game