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 The central railway station in  Samara. My train from Samara to Kazan  was old and a little ramshackle, though clean and much more comfortable than I had expected.  Photograph: Getty Images

I was away less than 36 hours, but Kazan was a very different place by the time I returned there on Sunday from the England game in Samara. The World (...)

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny: In a blog post on Wednesday, he predicted the verdict would be guilty. Photograph: Elena Ignatyeva/AP

A Russian court has stopped a presidential bid by Alexei Navalny, the country’s most popular opposition politician, by resurrecting a criminal convict(...)