Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel in Bonn in 1992: “At state dinners she mooched around so much that, more than once, I had to tell her to pull herself together.” Photograph: Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images

Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl has said Angela Merkel, his protégée turned rival, was so inexperienced when he plucked her from obscurity in 199(...)

On July 13th, 172,000 concert-goers filled two venues in London and Philadelphia, raising over £50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia
1985: The year that was...

Famine, the cold war and the threat of Aids cast long shadows over 1985, the year of the Live Aid concerts.On July 13th, 172,000 concert-goers filled (...)

People walk past a closed McDonald’s restaurant, one of four temporarily closed by the state food safety watchdog, in Moscow. Photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

Russia’s food safety agency will conduct checks on McDonald’s restaurants in the Urals following food safety complaints, a day after four branches of (...)

Eduard Shevardnadze, who has died aged 86, was Mikhail Gorbachev’s foreign minister from 1985 onwards and played a key part in guiding Russia towards (...)

Eduard Shevardnadze, former Georgian president and Russia’s former foreign minister, during an interview at his home in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September 2010. Photographer: Daro Sulakauri/Bloomberg

Eduard Shevardnadze, the Soviet Union’s last foreign minister and later the president of Georgia, has died aged 86 after a long battle with illness. H(...)

What the first World War had not done, the Great Depression, Nazism and the second World War did. By the time of D-Day the world economy had disintegrated. Photograph: EPA/Jamie Peters

This year is the 100th anniversary of the start of the first World War, the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the 25th anniversaries of the collapse of th(...)

Leadership candidate: Joan Burton. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘The leader’s role in election victories and defeats is greatly exaggerated,” says Archie Brown. “In a very, very tight contest the relative popularit(...)

Gen Wojciech Jaruzelski, who has died aged 90, giving an interview in 2008. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Wojciech Jaruzelski, the last communist leader of Poland, who has died aged 90, sent tanks to crush the Solidarity movement in 1981 yet went on to pre(...)

Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991. The former Soviet president  dismissed the request for his prosecution as “absolutely unreasonable from the historic point of view”. Photograph: Reuters/Alexander Natruskin

Most Russians are overjoyed that the Crimea is once more part of their territory and that Russian president V(...)

People attend celebrations on the main square of the Crimean city of Simferopol yesterday after Russian president Vladimir Putin signed laws completing Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Photograph: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

Even if he was not just about to sign a treaty that defied international law to expand Russia’s borders, Russian president Vladimir Putin would(...)