Stalin

‘Peasants’, c.1930, by Kazimir Malevich

The true harshness of Soviet life rarely comes through: RA’s Revolution reviewed

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Vladimir Putin notoriously declared the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 to be one of the greatest disasters of…

A year in the life of Ivan Chistyakov, Gulag guard

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Spare a thought for the poor Gulag guard: the rifleman standing in the freezing wind on the outside of the…

The full horror of the siege of Leningrad is finally revealed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Stand aside, Homer. I doubt whether even the author of the Iliad could have matched Alexis Peri’s account of the…

Red dawn: Lenin demands revolution, April 1917

The centenary of the Russian revolution should be mourned, not celebrated

10 December 2016 9:00 am

As its centenary looms, never forget the brutal oppression ushered in by the Russian Revolution

The secret of the Bolshoi style will always be safe

10 December 2016 9:00 am

In 2013, Pavel Dmitrichenko, disgruntled principal dancer of the Bolshoi, exacted a now infamous revenge on the company’s artistic director,…

Forbidden love: Rosamund Pike as Ruth Williams and David Oyelowo as Seretse Khama

Such courage, bravery and love – if only we could feel it: A United Kingdom reviewed

26 November 2016 9:00 am

A United Kingdom is based on the greatest love story you probably didn’t have a clue about. I know I…

Anna Shilova and Aleksandr Masliakov on ‘Song of the Year’, 1977

The comic relief of Soviet Central Television

29 October 2016 9:00 am

In the opening chapter of her history of Soviet Central Television, Christine E. Evans observes two Russian televisual displays of…

Julie Christie as Lara in David Lean’s 1965 film

The true story of Dr Zhivago’s Lara

27 August 2016 9:00 am

Between agreeing to review this book and receiving it, I got worried. Like many, I adore Doctor Zhivago with its…

In her final column, Ismene Brown salutes the Bolshoi’s real stars: the corps de ballet

20 August 2016 9:00 am

The second half of the Bolshoi tour brought much fresher fare than the first: following the ubiquitous warhorses Don Quixote…

The left's history of foolishness

30 July 2016 9:00 am

The left will always tear itself apart rather than face its true foes

‘The Road to Siberia’ by Sergei Dmitrievich Miloradovich

Siberia: always a byword for despotism

23 July 2016 8:00 am

Owen Matthews on the horrific early history of the largest open-air prison in the world

The hopeless wasteland of modern Russia

4 June 2016 9:00 am

‘Gilded doorknobs,’ spits a Party diehard as she contemplates the blessings of the Soviet Union’s collapse. ‘Is this freedom?’ Dozens…

Enver Hoxha: Stalin’s devilish disciple

14 May 2016 9:00 am

In his final public appearance, the Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha addressed a Tirana crowd to commemorate the capital’s liberation from…

Britain needs a museum of communist terror

5 March 2016 9:00 am

We need a museum to help us remember that

A child freedom fighter in Budapest, 1956

1956: the year of living dangerously

13 February 2016 9:00 am

The book of the year has long been a favoured genre in popular history, and is a commonplace today. While…

The tortured genius of Shostakovich

23 January 2016 9:00 am

When I look at the black-and-white photograph of Julian Barnes on the flap of his latest book, the voice of…

What happened to British communism?

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Like most trade unionists in the 1970s and 80s I worked with a fair few communists. Men like Dickie Lawlor,…

A 19th-century view of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (Kiev’s Monastery of the Caves) Russian School

The history of Ukraine — from Herodotus to Hitler

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Timothy Snyder traces Ukraine’s complex history from its classical heritage to the present day

Monumental change: the overthrow of the statue of Napoleon I, which was on top of the Vendôme Column. The painter Gustave Courbet is ninth from the right

A short history of statue-toppling

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Sculptural topplings provide an index of changing times, says Martin Gayford

General Anders to the rescue

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Until Poland joined the EU in the 1990s, the biggest single influx of Poles into this country was in the…

Ferdinand Porsche, the inventor of the Doodlebug and the Panzer tank, was treated with rare deference by Hitler, bordering on idolatry

Ferninand Porsche: from the Beetle to the Panzer tank

7 November 2015 9:00 am

The aggressive character of the famous German sports car, in a sort of sympathetic magic, often transfers itself to owner-drivers.…

How the pixel became a key feature of drone warfare

29 October 2015 9:00 am

I hadn’t really thought much about pixels before, despite spending a large portion of my day looking at them. After…

What does it really mean to have a tyrannical father?

24 October 2015 9:00 am

What was it like, asks Jay Nordlinger, to have Mao as your father, or Pol Pot, or Papa Doc? The…

'A glittering concentrate of fury in her dark eyes': Patricia Racette as Katerina Ismailova in 'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk'

Thank god for bored wives: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at the ENO reviewed

3 October 2015 9:00 am

‘Kiss me, Sergei! Kiss me hard! Kiss me until the icons fall and split!’ sings Katerina Ismailova, adulterous antiheroine of…

Alger Hiss attends his trial (Photo: Getty)

Alger Hiss: Tricky Dick’s scapegoat

26 September 2015 8:00 am

In the more than 40 years since Richard Nixon resigned as president — disgraced as much by his inveterate lying…