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.

The strange revival of nationalism

Separatist movements have a pull for voters even in a world of bits and bytes

Scotland and Europe need grand coalitions

The right response is for the centrists to join forces, hard though it is to bury their ancestral rivalries, writes Niall Ferguson

G20 nations want Putin at next summit

Members back keeping the ‘door open’ with leader in spite of Ukraine tensions

Russia releases Yevtushenkov

Charges have sparked outcry in Moscow’s business community

Poroshenko urges US to arm Ukraine

Ukraine president warns non-lethal aid not enough to turn tide

Sanctions see Russia’s hardmen rise

Sistema arrest case leaves business leaders afraid

Arrests signal new order in Russia

Moscow rattled by tensions over Ukraine and sanctions

Sistema: Yukos, part deux

What happens when the state shows a sudden interest in an oligarch’s company?

‘War’ and ‘peace’ factions split Ukraine

Poroshenko and Yatseniuk divided as election looms

Short sellers uncertain of Russian market

Fund managers adopt neutral position as EU sanctions continue

US targets Gazprom in new sanctions

White House expands measures against Kremlin

Russia threatens car and clothing imports

Warning comes as EU diplomats agree to expand sanctions

Russian investors wary of new ceasefire

Shareholders are still nursing losses from previous false dawns

Shells rattle fragile Ukraine ceasefire

Artillery fire in Mariupol is first apparent violation of ceasefire

Geopolitical risk rising for ETF investors

Active managers have more freedom of manoeuvre

European oil sanctions: promises

Concerted action would hamper Russia’s Rosneft

Americans rethink war after killings

Beheadings shift public opinion on intervention

Russians pull together amid sanctions

Country unfazed by latest round of measures

Kiev signals readiness to agree ceasefire

Pro-Russian rebels to discuss peace strategy at Minsk talks

Obama dilemma as Putin holds all the cards

Just as in Syria, the president’s options are all fraught

France halts delivery of warship to Russia

Move comes as Putin lays out plan for Ukraine ceasefire

Russian stocks leap on ceasefire hopes

Putin unveils seven-point plan after talks with Poroshenko

Obama must seize his Nato moment

US president needs to put an end to sense of global drift

Putin’s Eurasian economic union feels strain

Kazakhstan and Belarus wary of being dragged into sanctions war

Ukraine signals de facto war with Moscow

Army abandons its defence of Lugansk airport

Nato alliance goes back to the future

Summit leaders must calibrate how best to deter Russia

Kiev accuses Russia of ‘direct aggression’

President vows to shake up Ukraine’s military leadership

Rosneft seeks China investor for oilfield

Deal would be most significant Chinese investment in Russian oil

Putin will not cut off Europe’s gas

The EU could weather the winter without importing Russian energy, says Matthew Bryza

Putin seeks ‘statehood’ talks for SE Ukraine

Comments likely to antagonise Kiev as EU prepares more sanctions

Three critical tests for Nato leaders

Ukraine, the Middle East and Afghanistan test alliance’s future, writes Nicholas Burns

This means war

Miscalculations have pushed Ukraine and Russia over the edge, says Ian Bremmer

Putin raises the stakes in Ukraine

Russian incursion demands a tough western response

Ukraine to push for Nato membership

Rasmussen dismisses ‘hollow denials’ of Moscow involvement

Russia moves to freeze Ukraine conflict

Offensive seen as strategy to force Kiev to call ceasefire

Ukraine rebels extend fight to south

Separatist move adds to western fears of Russia role

Evidence grows of Russian army in Ukraine

Kiev releases videos of four captured soldiers

The right stomach for sanctions

Muscovites seem happy to sacrifice foreign food luxuries for Russia, writes Courtney Weaver

Ukraine president calls snap elections

Poroshenko to meet Putin in Minsk for first talks since June

Putin profits from wars and apologists

The west is told what it wants to hear and turns a convenient blind eye, writes Susan Glasser