Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end-of-year news conference in December: File photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

Vladimir Putin and Sergey Roldugin forged a bond as young men. Fast friends, almost like brothers, they cruised the streets of Leningrad, singing and(...)

The cause of the accident is not yet known. Maxim Grigoryev / Russia Emergencies Ministry / AFP / Getty Images

Below is a list of some of the more significant crashes involving Russian planes or foreign aircraft in Russian airspace over the past decade. March (...)

The Biathlon Men’s Relay at the Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center on February 22, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photograph:  Vianney Thibaut/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Irish athletes at this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi competed alongside Russian athletes who have admitted taking drugs that have now been placed o(...)

A Russian fan reacts as her team lose out 3-1 to Finland in yesterday’s quarter-final game in the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Douse the torch, crack the ice, melt the snow. Just like that, Sochi 2014 is over. The Russian ice hockey team are gone and with them goes the (...)

 Yevgeni Malkin of Russia kneels on the ice after losing to Finland in Sochi. Photograph: Larry W Smith/EPA

The Russian men’s hockey players were put forward as the host country’s most important entry in the Sochi Olympics, the only team that really (...)

Conor Lyne’s preparations for this morning’s giant slalom have been disrupted by a fall in practice  and bad weather but he’s ready to give it his best shot. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Conor Lyne goes in this morning’s giant slalom, almost three weeks after arriving in Sochi a(...)

‘Flower sweeper’ children  pick up toys and flowers from the ice skating rink after Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi finished his figure skating men’s free skating programme at the Winter Olympics in Sochi on February 14th. One of the quirks of a thoroughly quirky sport is the tradition of chucking bouquets of flowers onto the ice to hail a particularly brilliant routine. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

In Sochi, as at every Olympics, there are volunteers everywhere you look. No job too small, no whim too slight. One poor girl in the main press(...)

Rengin Yurdakul: ‘I don’t even speak the language of my ancestors but I feel a deep pain – I feel that I’m Circassian; it’s who I am.’ Photograph: Stephen Starr

The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics last Friday week presented the world with a history of Russia equally romantic and fanciful. But a (...)

Outside the Shayba Arena, a volunteer at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, comes up with a novel way of enjoying the sun, which can push midday temperatures up to 19 degrees.

Outside the Shayba Arena, a couple of volunteers have hit on an idea. The midday sun has pushed temperatures up to 19 degrees, making their ga(...)

There’s no doubt that while the vast security has made these games safe – moreover, it’s made them feel safe – it has kept plenty of people away.  Photograph: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

I knew I was in trouble when the youngster in charge of the bus stop started rummaging in his coat pocket while I was still 20 yards away. (...)