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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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own