Vladimir Putin illustration by Ingram Pinn

Vladimir Putin commenced his second term as president of Russia in May 2012, having already served in the role between 2000 and 2008.

A former KGB agent in East Germany from 1985 to 1990, he began his political career in Moscow in 1996, eventually including two stints as prime minister - 1999 to 2000 and 2008 to 2012.

Russian aid convoy crosses into Ukraine

Kiev accuses Moscow of invasion while Poroshenko urges calm

Putin to meet Poroshenko at Minsk summit

Attempt to find diplomatic solution to Ukraine crisis

French politician joins plans for Crimean theme park

Links to blacklisted businessmen likely to attract controversy

Bombs fall in centre of Donetsk

Putin says he is keeping an eye on situation

Russian convoy stokes Ukraine fears

Observers suspect Putin of Trojan Horse operation

Ingram Pinn illustration

Merkel is willing to pay for world stability

Russia expected Germany to resist action that would affect its exporters. It was wrong

Matt Kenyon Russian diplomacy
©Matt Kenyon

How to end the Ukraine crisis in peace

The way out will be found not through force but the arts of diplomacy, writes Rodric Braithwaite

Ukrainian army edges closer to Donetsk

Pro-Russian rebels rule out ceasefire with Ukrainian forces

ITAR-TASS 88: MOSCOW, RUSSIA. NOVEMBER 8. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov, L-R, visit a new headquarters of the Main Intelligence Agency (GRU) of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff. (Photo ITAR-TASS / Dmitry Astakhov)

Photos and roses for ‘spetsnaz’ casualties

Memorial points to Russia’s tactics in Ukraine

Russian sanctions and the west

Moscow’s embargo on food will hurt Russia too

Russia threat to go beyond food blacklist

Western aerospace, shipbuilding and cars could be targeted

Russian consumers prepared to swallow food ban

President has record approval but drawn-out sanctions could hurt

US food exports at risk in Putin trade ban

Embargo threatened on all agricultural products

Poland warns of Ukraine invasion threat

PM says intelligence indicates rising danger from Russia

German diplomacy: Dominant by default

Strong links with Russia are putting Angela Merkel’s softly-softly policy to the test

Gunvor secures $290m borrowing facility

Revolving credit line will finance activities in Europe

Political spouses are best in the shadows

The idea that an adoring other half is electoral Viagra refuses to die, writes Helen Lewis

US should end energy protectionism

Obama must include energy in proposed EU trade deal

Cameron urges tough Nato stance on Russia

UK prime minister says Moscow sees western alliance ‘as an adversary’

Russian liberal minority attack Putin

Small and dwindling group driven by despair rather than hope

US diplomat faces questions over strategy

Critics say Nuland has no clear plan to end Ukraine crisis

Siemens results hit by project charges

Operating profit rises 37% but misses analysts’ forecasts

Merkel plays the long game with Putin

The German chancellor has decelerated the pace of sanctions but she will act, writes Beth Pond

Nato rediscovers its founding mission

Alliance must find will and resources to defend Europe

Merkel’s sanctions rethink reflects loss of trust in Putin

Chancellor’s allies say MH17 more critical than US pressure

Putin fights to keep factions on side

President in balancing act to appease tycoons and nationalists

Closing a 25-year chapter with Russia

Putin’s misconduct made new sanctions inevitable

A damning verdict in the Yukos case

The decision raises questions about BP’s judgment

Ex-Yukos shareholders awarded $50bn

Ruling is biggest compensation award made in an arbitration case

Images show Russian attacks, says US

Artillery firing on Ukrainian forces, Washington claims

Germany set to back EU Russian sanctions

Burden must be spread across bloc, says Steinmeier

Vladimir Putin: Collision course

The Ukraine crisis has boosted the president’s popularity but fears for the economy are growing

German industry softens sanctions stance

Cordes urges Putin to ‘get some influence’ with rebels

Slavyansk grave reveals Ukraine’s wounds

Many welcome the return of Ukrainian rule, others mistrust Kiev

Europe needs a lesson in deterrence

Europeans have been slow to recognise the world as it is rather than as they imagined

Obama pressed to act against Russia

US president accused of weakness in Ukraine crisis

Putin starts to show the strain

Pressure brings sign of fissure in Russia’s elite

Putin looks at breaking Gazprom monopoly

Boost for Rosneft after intensive lobbying

Bodies prepared for flight to Netherlands

Dutch PM calls for change in relationship with Russia

Putin vows to lean on separatist rebels

Concession to western pressure balanced by defiance