The 75-year history of the CIA makes for controversial reading. From “systematically misinforming” a series of US presidents about the economic and military threat posed by the Soviet Union during the “old” cold war, to engaging in torture, illegal kidnapping and execution-without-trial as part of George W Bush’s “war on terror”, the agency has never been slow to employ dirty tricks - not least to ensure its own survival.

But with a serious Russia expert now in charge and the CIA-loathing Donald Trump out of the picture (for the moment, at least), how much influence is the agency having on events in Ukraine - and can its “black” propaganda help bring about a resolution to the conflict? Our latest Insights long read brings you the inside story of the CIA’s rocky relationship with Russia, by one of the UK’s leading experts, Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones.

Angola is living through a political seismic shift. Election results released in the past few days show that the ruling party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), has lost its strangle hold for the first time since it took control 50 years ago after independence from Portugal. As Jon Schubert and Gilson Lázaro explain, the result of last week’s poll remains contested. Nevertheless, a thin majority and the loss of the absolute (two-thirds) majority in parliament - and of the capital, Luanda - marks a significant defeat for the MPLA.

Mike Herd

Investigations Editor, Insights

The inside story of the CIA v Russia – from cold war conspiracy to ‘black’ propaganda in Ukraine

Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, University of Edinburgh

With a formidable Kremlinologist in charge and Donald Trump out of the presidential picture, has the CIA regained its influence amid the ‘new cold war’?

Official Angolan result gives ruling MPLA wafer thin win. On the streets the outcome isn’t believed

Jon Schubert, University of Basel; Gilson Lázaro, Catholic University of Angola

The loss of a two-thirds majority in parliament would be seen as a significant defeat for the MPLA.

The survival of the endangered monarch butterfly depends on conservation beyond borders

Columba González-Duarte, Mount Saint Vincent University

The struggles of monarch butterflies reflect a shared North American ecological and social problem.

How the kimono became a symbol of oppression in some parts of Asia

Ella Tennant, Keele University

The Kimono is a distinct cultural symbol of Japan and for that reason, it has a complicated reputation around much of Asia.