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.

Album review: Roger Woodward, Prokofiev: Works for Piano (Celestial Harmonies)

Those familiar with Prokofiev mostly through Peter and the Wolf will be shocked at the Modernist invention of his lesser-known early piano works, delivered with enthusiastic conviction by Roger Woodward in these 1991 recordings.

The statue of the former president of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, in Mexico City

Moving of statue strains Mexican link with Azerbaijan

The heart of Mexico City contains statues of a number of political figures from beyond Central America, among them Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi.

Russian mobster 'Grandpa Khasan' shot dead in Moscow

One of Russia's top crime bosses has been murdered in Moscow in a war between two mobs over lucrative construction projects, including ones for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Jeanne Vertefeuille: CIA officer who unmasked the spy Aldrich Ames

She was, at first glance, the classic little old lady. Jeanne Vertefeuille, brought up as an only child, never married. She lived alone in a modest apartment and invariably walked to work. She might have been a librarian, a clerk, or a quiet pillar of her local church community. In fact she led the team that unmasked the most damaging mole in the history of the CIA.

Paperbacks: Just Send Me Word By Orlando Figes

This book begins tamely – Lev and Sveta, two Russian teenagers quietly falling in love. It progresses into one of the most dramatic true histories of the gulag era.

Mad Russian scientist throws boiling water over a balcony

"Oh those crazy Russians!" as Boney M once so astutely observed. It might be - 41 degrees outside but YouTube user lifehackertv is not sitting indoors under his slanket watching Homeland

Vishnevskaya; she later directed operas

Galina Vishnevskaya: Soprano whose voice entranced Britten and who fled the Soviet Union

Galina Vishnevskaya was famous both as a singer and as the wife of the cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich. As a singer she was famous, in Britain at least, for being forbidden to take the soprano solos at the first performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem in 1962 in the newly consecrated Coventry Cathedral; and then for throwing a spectacular tantrum during the recording sessions of the same work in London the following year.

Avigdor Lieberman: The minister said he would try to clear his name before the election

Avigdor Lieberman: Israel’s far-right firebrand quits over fraud charges

Exit weakens Netanyahu coalition ahead of national elections

Duncan Fletcher: India's coach has presided over side's fall from first to fifth in the rankings

The Indian Angle: Futures of Dhoni, Fletcher and national game at stake

Indians did not actually say – as Viv Richards once did after India had beaten the West Indies on an underprepared track in Chennai – "come home and we'll show you". But it was implied after MS Dhoni's men lost the series in England 4-0 last year. Well, England have come, and it is India who are being shown up. It might be too early to write India off in the Kolkata Test, but if the England players take time out to check the price of champagne here, it is understandable.

Mary Dejevsky: Britain should pass its own Magnitsky Act

It is possible that a 44-year-old Russian, whose body was found outside his house in Weybridge two weeks ago, died of natural causes. Such things happen. But this does not alter the fact that Alexander Perepilichnyy's death is mighty convenient. Who benefits? Other Russians whose nefarious activities stood to be exposed by his cooperation with Swiss banking investigators. Nor would they be just any other Russians, but state officials, police, tax officers and others implicated in the case of Sergei Magnitsky.

Alexander Perepilichnyy lived in exile in Weybridge at the St Georges Hill estate

Alexander Perepilichnyy: Another mightily convenient Russian death

Who benefits? People whose nefarious activities stood to be exposed  by this whistleblower.

Tajikistan blocks Facebook access to silence critics of president

Tajikistan has blocked access to Facebook in response to a slew of comments spreading "mud and slander" about veteran President Imomali Rakhmon and officials in the Central Asian republic.

Last night's viewing - The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler, BBC2; Britain's Best Bakery, ITV1

Charisma, we were told in the first of this three-part series, is not a quality that exists independently, but is a contract between two parties. In the case of Adolf Hitler, the contract was between one man and an entire nation.

Beijing lands jet on aircraft carrier

China has carried out its first successful landing of a fighter jet on its first aircraft carrier.

Beyond pain and politics: Herta Müeller

The Hunger Angel, By Herta Müller, trans. Philip Boehm

This stark novel of deprivation and survival makes us see, and feel, the reality of the camps

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Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world