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.

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

Open Jaw: Red tape and tourism

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John Demjanjuk after being found guilty at his trial in Munich in 2011; his wartime SS identity card

John Demjanjuk: Convicted Nazi guard who protested his innocence for three decades

Rarely was there a greater outward contrast between an accused and the terrible crimes of which he was found guilty. For friends, he was a doting grandfather, a retired Ukrainian immigrant who had worked in the US car industry and tended his surburban lawn outside Cleveland, Ohio. But for a German law court, and the Nazi-hunters who pursued John Demjanjuk for three decades, he was part of the machinery of genocide at Hitler's death camps.

Rights groups condemn Belarus over executions

Two men convicted of carrying out a deadly bombing on the Minsk underground railway last year have been executed.

Wladimir Putin won Russia's presidential election and addresses supporters in Kremlin, Moscow

Putin wins 'tainted' election

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rolled to victory in Russia's presidential election today, according to exit polls cited by state television, but the vote was tainted by claims of violations, including "carousel voting" in which voters were bused around to cast several ballots.

The latest polls suggest Russia’s Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, will win Sunday’s presidential poll

Mary Dejevsky: Russia is changing and Putin must, too

The first complete book that any British student of Russian is likely to read in the original is Fathers and Sons, a novel by Ivan Turgenev. There are all sorts of reasons why that might be.

Belarus left isolated as EU nations withdraw ambassadors

The regime of Alexander Lukashenko is looking increasingly isolated today after European Union nations took the extraordinary step of jointly withdrawing all their ambassadors from Belarus.

Turkmenistan's president wins 97% of vote

Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov won a new five-year term by capturing 97 per cent of the vote, election officials said today, but a Western expert called the vote a democratic sham.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, has urged Vladimir Putin to give up power

Putin has exhausted his potential, says Gorbachev

Vladimir Putin has "exhausted" his potential as Russia's leader, Mikhail Gorbachev said yesterday, warning that the Prime Minister's inability to change the political system might prompt further anti-government protests.

Leading article: English justice – the oligarchs' choice

For almost four months, London's brand new Commercial Court has offered the bizarre spectacle of two Russian oligarchs – one a pugnacious political fugitive, the other the taciturn owner of Chelsea Football Club – fighting over the, for them, paltry sum of a couple billion pounds. The fleets of limousines, the posses of bodyguards and the corridor chatter in Russian all contrasted with the very British surroundings. Finally, the seemingly interminable proceedings are at an end, and Mrs Justice Gloster has reserved her judgment for as long as it takes.

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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us