Voices

When Maria Miller travels to Sochi next week, she must seize the opportunity to raise the issue of LGBT rights with Russian officials

Topless Christmas Day Femen protest in Cologne Cathedral slammed as ‘unnecessary disturbance’

Germany’s left-wing Green Party among those criticising anti-Catholic demonstration as ‘disrespectful’

2013 - the year in review: It took his death, but the world came together for a moment for Nelson Mandela

Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel claimed that he couldn’t afford the trip. His absence reminded us of Israel’s closeness to the apartheid regime

Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin visited Sochi earlier this year

Putin’s charm offensive is about more than just the Sochi Winter Olympics

Russia wants and needs help with major modernisation, not just in the energy sector, but with all kinds of capital projects

Greenpeace International activist Mannes Ubels from the Netherlands jumps for joy holding his passport outside of the offices of the Federal Migration Service Department in St. Petersburg after receiving a Russian transit visa

Arctic 30 heading home after being cleared under Putin amnesty

30 Greenpeace activists detained in September will have left the country by the end of the weekend after having their charges dropped and being issued transit visas

The Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Pussy Riot prison releases reveal the dilemma of mature Putinism

Khodorkovsky’s release may well have been intended to further those goals by sending a positive signal about Russia's future business climate

Maria Alyokhina, the Pussy Riot member who was released under an amnesty today, speaks on the phone to denounce her newfound freedom as a 'PR stunt'

Two jailed members of Pussy Riot Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova released from prison following Russian government amnesty

Alyokhina said the amnesty was a ‘PR stunt’ and she would have stayed in prison if she could

The former oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky stands next to a poster of himself, part of the Wall Museum exhibition near the old Berlin Wall

Mikhail Khodorkovsky speaks out: ‘I am not the last political prisoner’

Speaking for the first time since his release, Mikhail Khodorkovsky says he will campaign for fellow inmates in Russia and across the world but will not challenge President Putin’s authority

Women’s double: Delegates Billie Jean King (left) and Caitlin Cahow seek the universal acceptance of all people

The Last Word: A clear message to Putin and all those blocking equality

Appointing Billie Jean King as US delegate to Sochi will help athletes’ political and personal battle

David Cameron's absence is not a remark on Russia's stance on gay rights, according to Downing Street

David Cameron to skip Sochi Olympics – but insists it’s not a boycott

David Cameron is not planning to attend the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Downing Street said on Friday, but insisted the move was not a statement about Russia’s stance on gay rights.

US Figure-skating champion Brian Boitano comes out as gay

US figure-skating champion Brian Boitano comes out as gay

Boitano now joins tennis ace and activist Billie Jean King and hockey play Caitlin Cahow to represent America during the Sochi Winter Games

Who said it: Joseph Stalin or Oliver Cromwell?

Vladimir Putin has compared Joseph Stalin with 17th century Roundhead leader Oliver Cromwell, saying there was no difference between the two men.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky has spent the last 10 years in prison on charges of tax evasion and embezzlement

Mikhail Khodorkovsky arrives in Germany, a free man at last – but what will Vladimir Putin’s enemy do next?

Mikhail Khodorkovsky flies to Berlin after release from jail confirmed by Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was no worse than Oliver Cromwell

The Russian President made the comments at a press conference after he was asked about a monument to Stalin being put up in Moscow

Alec Luhn's Sketch: The press pack with tsars in their eyes

Vladimir Putin played the role of the good tsar at his annual press conference, fielding questions, repeated declarations of grateful praise and requests to deal with unscrupulous businessmen and lazy bureaucrats. One excited journalist even credited him with an improvement in her love life, noting that she had “finally gotten married” shortly after meeting him in March.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow; he later announced the surprise early release of the former Yukos oil tycoon

Mikhail Khodorkovsky pardoned: Russian President Vladimir Putin to free former political nemesis after 10 years in prison

The former oil tycoon is to be pardoned after as part of an ‘amnesty project’ by the Kremlin ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics next year

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...