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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Day In a Page

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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?