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.

Teofilo Stevenson: Boxer regarded as the greatest never to fight for money

Teofilo Stevenson, who has died of heart disease at the age of 60, was one of the best heavyweight boxers of his generation, and was widely regarded as the greatest boxer never to fight for money. He won gold medals at three consecutive Olympic Games from 1972 to 1980, in Munich, Montreal and Moscow. He said of that era: "The Olympic Games in Munich and Montreal are the fondest memories I have from my life, the best stage of my career."

John Kampfner: Who are we to lecture on racism?

With Europe bigoted and broke, there has never been a better time to be a little Englander. Everywhere you look, according to our media, we have left the hapless continentals far behind. Take football. As England limber up for their biennial heroic defeat, TV and newspapers have focused on racism and hooliganism in Ukraine and Poland. Russian fans were apparently the first culprits in the tournament itself, in their game on Friday night.

Kazakh guard killed 15 and burned border post, says prosecutor

A Kazakh border guard has confessed to killing 14 fellow soldiers and a herder in cold blood at a remote post near the Chinese frontier, prosecutors said today, adding that hazing, or severe bullying, may have prompted the massacre.

A museum guide shows a gold bust of the late dictator

Rebranding Stalin from hero to horror

It is an unusual way to begin a trip to a museum. "This museum is a falsification of history," reads a makeshift shiny banner placed at the grand entrance to the Stalin Museum in the Georgian city of Gori. "It is a typical example of Soviet propaganda and it attempts to legitimise the bloodiest regime in history."

Saddam Hussein finished his last novel the day before the US army invaded Iraq

Dictators' memoirs: not known for their happy endings

Is there a market for Saddam Hussein's autobiography? His eldest daughter Raghad thinks so. Now living in exile in Jordan, she's hawking the handwritten manuscript around publishers. Details of their contents or composition are unknown, but Raghad's lawyer, Haitham Nabil al-Harsh, told an Arab news channel: "These are the only real memoirs Saddam Hussein wrote by hand, and they will be released as soon as we find a publishing house."

Tim Walker: Blame the music, not Graham Norton

Tales from the water cooler ...

Schoolboy wins rare place to train at Bolshoi Ballet

Last year Alex Caggegi was an ordinary teenager from a state school in the North of England with one difference: he dreamt of becoming a ballet dancer. Now he has become only the fourth Briton in history to win a place at Moscow's prestigious Bolshoi Academy.

John Lithgow portrays legendary columnist Joseph Alsop in a new Broadway play

Rupert Cornwell: The voices of America who ruled the world

Out of America: A new play recalls the huge political influence writers once had

Cowan: philanthropist

George Cowan: Nuclear scientist

George Cowan, who died on 20 April aged 92, was a chemist who influenced everything from the Manhattan Project and the hunt for evidence of the Soviet Union's first nuclear tests to the Santa Fe Opera. After graduate studies at Princeton, Cowan continued his nuclear research as part of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb. Cowan was a troubleshooter for the effort at various research sites around the country and was among the few people who had knowledge of the bomb's separate components.

Fire at Moscow market kills 17 migrant workers

Seventeen migrant workers were killed in a fire today in a market warehouse on Moscow's outskirts where they had been living, Russian emergency officials and media said.

Marina Salye: Distinguished geologist who became a vociferous opponent of Putin

Marina Salye was a geologist of considerable repute, locating mineral deposits in the furthest and least hospitable reaches of the Soviet Union and producing dozens of academic papers and six monographs. But she came to prominence as a pugnacious and eloquent leader of the perestroika-era democratic movement in Leningrad, and as a sharp critic of Vladimir Putin ever since she uncovered gross financial malpractice in his St Petersburg office in the early 1990s.

Essoyan who exposed a rift in Sino-Soviet relations

Roy Essoyan: Reporter who exposed a rift in Sino-Soviet relations

Roy Essoyan, who died on 22 March aged 92, was a reporter who in 1958 exposed a serious split between China and the Soviet Union. Born in a Japanese fishing village just after his refugee family, originally from Armenia, landed there in 1919 after fleeing the Russian revolution, Essoyan arrived in the Soviet Union nearly four decades later as an American journalist, having become a US citizen after the Second World War.

Former Soviet KGB Leonid Shebarshin found dead in apparent suicide

Commemorative gun and diary revealing health problems found near body

Emily Tucker and Oliver King star in the UK premiere of 'A Warsaw Melody' at the Arcola Theatre in east London

A Warsaw Melody: From Russia with Love

The first ever UK staging of one of Russia's most frequently performed plays A Warsaw Melody opens in London this week. Written by Leonid Zorin in 1967, it was staged some 4,000 times in its first year. "It's almost a contemporary Romeo and Juliet," says its London-based Russian director Oleg Mirochnikov, who is also a top Russian dialogue coach, who worked with the cast of X-Men: First Class and World War Z. "I think a lot of British theatre companies don't look beyond Chekov. Maybe its a lack of curiosity."

Mikhail Bulgakov's Stalin-era satire, <i>The Master and Margarita</i>, at the Barbican

The Master and Margarita, Barbican, London
Sweeney Todd, Adelphi, London
Filumena, Almedia, London

Simon McBurney brings dazzling technology to his Bulgakov adaptation but little clarity. A Sondheim evergreen, meanwhile, is as fresh as ever

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Vivienne Westwood and her son Joe Corré deliver an anti-fracking letter to No 10 last week
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick