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.

Ded Moroz (Father Frost) meets children in Moscow. The Russian equivalent of Father Christmas has been banned from state TV in Tajikistan

Father Christmas outlawed by Tajikistan TV

The country has banned Father Frost - the Russian equivalent of Father Christmas - from appearing on state TV as the character 'bears no relation to national traditions'

Polygamous Sect Members Come Out In Mass

Polygamy offers young women of Kazakhstan a ticket out of poverty

Gulf between rich and poor fuels revival of a practice which has become a status symbol for affluent men and a ticket out of poverty for young women

Goodbye, Lenin: Protesters raise the stakes at Kiev rally as they topple statue of former Communist leader

As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians demonstrate against plans for closer ties with Moscow, a hated symbol of Soviet rule is removed

Ukraine’s divide over Europe is not just between East and West, but big business versus the individual

For Ukraine’s businessmen, integration no longer means gaining a new market, but losing a most important one

Messianic Judaism – the best of both creeds

For Jews to become Christians, do they have to renounce their Jewish way of life?

The reclamation of socialism is crucial for Britain's future

Ralph Miliband's philosophy as more relevant than ever
Sergei Belov had a key role in the Soviet Union's famous victory against the US in the epic 1972 Olympic final

Sergei Belov: Basketball player in the most infamous match in the sport’s history

Sergei Belov, who died on 3 October at the age of 69, was a basketball player who had a key role in the Soviet Union’s famous victory against the US in the epic 1972 Olympic final in Munich.

Alexander Litvinenko: The former KGB agent died from polonium-210 poisoning in 2006

Alexander Litvinenko's weeping widow appeals for funds to force inquiry into his death

The widow of a Russian dissident who died after being poisoned in London broke down in tears as she told how she was struggling to fund a fight to force a public inquiry.

Russian 'space troops' are not prepared for battle with aliens, says official

We are not ready to fight extraterrestrial civilizations, says defence official

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Best new ideas in politics are still the old ideas

Top politicians are brilliant at making old ideas sound as good as new. Ed Miliband’s is One Nation. David Cameron proclaimed – 13 times – that Tory Britain would be a “land of opportunity” as if it hadn’t been deployed by practically every party leader in memory.

George Grosz, Nieder mit Liebknecht (Down with Liebknecht), 1918

Art review: Georg Grosz's Berlin - Prostitutes, Politicians and Profiteers

This is the first substantial London show of works on paper by the great, Berlin-born political satirist Georg Grosz in twenty years, and, oddly, it is being staged in a private gallery. What is more, the show of 50 works is a major loan exhibition – none of the paintings of drawings is for sale. What's in it for the gallery? 'We got a call from a collector the other day, offering us works by Grosz,' Richard Nagy tells me. So there you have it.

Steaua Bucharest celebrate winning the 1986 European Cup

Champions League: Once feared across Europe, Chelsea opponents Steaua Bucharest went the way of the Wall

An exodus of talent, the end of state support and meagre resources have proved terminal

Yoran: he eventually moved to the US and became the chairman of a commercial aircraft company

Shalom Yoran: Soldier who evaded the Nazis and fought with a Jewish resistance unit

Shalom Yoran was a Polish Jew who survived the Nazi invasion and occupation of his country. He evaded the Einsatzgruppen, or mobile extermination units, survived extreme winter conditions and went on to fight as a partisan in a Jewish resistance unit.

Mother Teresa: Skopje also has plans for a huge statue of the nun, who was born in the city

Alexander the Great and Mother Teresa... Macedonia goes big on its national monuments

Not content with four-storey statues of Alexander the Great and Mother Teresa, city planners in Skopje are now inviting bids for a version of Rome’s Spanish Steps, part of a beautification campaign that has divided residents.

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Independent Travel
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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect