Leading article: From Russia with love

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The Independent Online

According to the comedian George Burns, "happiness is a having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city". How about another country? And how about a family that you don't even know exists?

Ed Miliband was taking part in a phone-in programme on a Moscow radio station when an elderly woman calling herself Sofia Davidovna Miliband rang and excitedly declared to the surprised Energy Secretary: "I am your relative; I am the only one left". The producers feared a hoax, but it turned out to be true.

Ed Miliband has been speaking of his surprise at the unexpected reunion. But the greater surprise must surely belong to Sofia. She turned on the radio to discover the existence of a relative she had never previously heard of. More than that, this relative turns out to a senior member of the British government. Let's just hope she's sitting down when she finds out what his brother does.