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.

Germany acts on Russia’s Balkan designs

Putin’s visit to Serbia viewed as mission to extend influence

Moldovans to choose between east and west

Sunday’s election is vote on country’s geopolitical future

Merkel offers Russia trade olive branch

German chancellor aims to ease tensions with more talks

Georgia urges west to decry Russia treaty

PM says it is ‘another step towards annexation’ of Abkhazia

Putin signs treaty with Abkhazia

Russia’s accord with breakaway Georgian republic puts Tbilisi on edge

It is time to offer Putin a deal

Ukraine will never succeed with a hostile Russia on its borders, writes John Thornhill

Biden balks at heavy weapons for Ukraine

Russian build-up in the east intensifies US calls for arms to Kiev

Illustration by Ingram Pinn
©Ingram Pinn

India’s Modi joins great power game

PM has disappointed at home but been energetic and assertive internationally

Russia will take decades to pivot east

In the meantime, it must engage with Europe and the west, writes Thane Gustafson

'Into the Wind', Moscow, Russia, 2012, photograph by Slinkachu

Russian law aims to coax businesses home

Moscow moves to prise groups and citizens out of foreign refuges

Putin berates Kiev for cutting services

Russian leader says move amounts to ‘economic blockade’

Under-fire Putin in early exit from G20

Russian president departs before final communiqué

Cameron warns Putin to pull back in Ukraine

UK prime minister threatens further sanctions unless Russia pulls back

China’s lesson for Putin in how to do diplomacy

Beijing’s constructive approach contrasts with Russian provocation

Russian build-up sparks guessing game

Debate over Moscow’s aims in Ukraine follows military movements

Russia braced for ‘catastrophic’ oil plunge

Energy watchdog warns price rout yet to run its course

Embattled Putin arrives at G20 with navy in tow

Australian G20 host accuses Russia of bullying

Ingram Pinn illustration

Gorbachev is wrong about a new cold war

Facts of geopolitics demand that the west continue to do business with Putin

Putin ally says Asia cannot replace west

Eastern markets offer shorter-term loans, says Yakunin

Pugachev says he is worth less than $70m

‘Putin’s banker’ begins legal challenge against asset freeze

Lame-duck president still inspires

China should look to foreign leaders for examples of how to be appealing

Russia presses ahead with floating rouble

Putin seeks to reassure investors as currency pares losses

Russia snubs Europe with China gas deal

Agreement could lead to more of Siberia’s supply heading east

Ingram Pinn illustration
©Ingram Pinn

Russia is a bigger challenge than Isis

A nuclear-armed Moscow, intent on challenging US, poses risks we are only starting to understand

Obama calls for further reform in China

US president extends Chinese student and business visas

Putin builds China links as US ties fray

Move comes two weeks after Moscow accuses Washington of destabilising the world

Rouble’s wobbles worry Putin’s Kremlin

Fears of currency crisis go right to heart of government

Tensions rise as Putin defends Nazi pact

Russian leader queries attacks on wartime deal that split Poland

Moscow cracks down on Crimea’s Tatars

Memories of Stalin-era flare after Russian annexation

James Ferguson illustration

Cracks in the Brics start to show

A shared feeling that the west has run things for too long masks deep divergences in world views

Sistema to return Bashneft stake to Russia

Decision raises concerns over Russia’s investment climate

Putin makes offer wrapped up in a warning

Russian leader’s vision suggests west faces stark choice

Gunvor to reduce footprint in Russia

Trading group seeks buyers for all or part of its Russian assets

EU energy deal to hurt Putin, says Davey

European bloc agrees 40% cut in carbon emissions by 2030

Putin unleashes fury at US ‘follies’

Russian president blames America for undermining post-Cold War order

US experts fear Russia sanctions blowback

US and EU measures seen as counter-productive and potentially dangerous

Sikorski at centre of storm over Ukraine

Former Polish minister’s comments trigger political controversy

Russia's President Vladimir Putin signs on the first segment of pipeline during a ceremony marking the start of construction of 'Power of Siberia' pipeline at the village of Us Khatyn, September 1, 2014
©Ria Novosti/Reuters

Pipeline politics flow both ways

President Putin faces a dilemma: his country would be badly hurt by turning off supplies to Europe

Marshall’s grand plan applies to Ukraine

The west will have to co-operate to stop Putin and should do so now, writes Anders Aslund

Baltic security: Tensions on the frontier

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania remain wary that Russia will try to make the region the next conflict hotspot