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.

Russia: Left out in the cold

With an economy shrinking, the opposition should be thriving, but the truth is very different

Russia trades will not follow Greek logic

Athens’ interests were easy to see; Putin’s motives are unclear

Propagandists prime Russians for fight

Kremlin tells people what to think then cites their views to justify acts, writes Andrei Ostalski

EU must act in unison against Russia

In the face of Putin’s aggression, the 28-member bloc has to stand firm

Russia turns to old tunes as VE Day nears

Second world war victory hymn to be launched as free download

Ukraine calls for UN peacekeepers

UK defence secretary warns Russia posing a ‘real and present danger’

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The short telegram about Putin’s Russia

At times it has seemed patience is a substitute for strategy

Debaltseve battle ends in Ukraine retreat

Troop withdrawal is humiliation for the government, diplomats say

Putin and his many pals

Russia’s president is particularly good at making friends with other ‘strongmen’

West has failed to find a role for Moscow

Europe needs a strategy created from understanding of Russia’s past

Ukraine rebels claim most of Debaltseve

Clashes leave ceasefire hanging by thread

Orban defies EU to host Putin in Hungary

Russian president still feted in some European capitals

Picture of Kingfisher 3/3A well, Uganda, being drilled by Heritage Oil where new flow is expected early February.

Sanctions-hit Russia in Uganda refinery deal

Rostec arm wins oil work as Kampala looks to Moscow

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Russian hearts, minds and refrigerators

Rather than engage Putin on the battlefield, it makes more sense to hit the economy

We are all victims now

Politicians, bankers and corporate bosses have joined the swelling ranks of the oppressed

Putin’s posture casts cloud over ceasefire

Experts question Russian intentions toward Minsk agreement

The meaning of the Minsk agreement

The devilish detail of this document is highly advantageous to the Russians, writes Niall Ferguson

European leaders cautious over ‘Minsk II’

New sanctions to be prepared in case Russia reneges on ceasefire agreement

Leaders agree Ukraine ceasefire

Truce to take effect from midnight on Saturday

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Guns are only half an answer for Kiev

Modern weaponry will not overturn the facts: Ukraine alone cannot defeat the Russian army

Obama warns Putin over Ukraine crisis

Leaders speak as US accused of seeking to drag Russia into war

Putin given hero’s welcome in Egypt

Russian president arrives in Cairo as he tries to reassert influence

Putin and Sisi follow illiberal trend

Russian and Egyptian leaders find much to admire in each other, especially hostility to Islamism

Arming Ukraine ‘an option’, says Obama

US president admits to possible tactical differences with Europe

Fears rise on Czech leader’s Russia view

Prague officials concerned over support for Putin

Merkel to meet Obama to discuss Ukraine

Chancellor’s shuttle diplomacy continues as calls mount for arming Kiev

Europe pushes ahead with Ukraine peace talks

Merkel flies to Washington for Obama meeting

Germany opposes calls for west to arm Ukraine

US pours scorn on European efforts to engage with Putin

Moscow trip wins only vow of more talks

Merkel and Hollande leave Putin after 5-hour meeting

Merkel rolls dice to seek Ukraine truce

US declines to back German leader and doubts any deal will hold

Vladimir Putin and his tsar quality

Russia has often been described as a failing democracy. But is it better understood as an authoritarian project in the process of succeeding?

Ukraine Q&A: Your questions answered

The FT’s eastern Europe editor answers a selection of queries from readers on the crisis

Merkel and Hollande fly to Kiev and Moscow

Diplomatic push on Ukraine to involve Putin talks

Western leaders launch talks in Ukraine

Kerry meets Poroshenko as west seeks fresh diplomatic solution

Ingram Pinn illustration
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Ukraine is only part of Putin’s game plan

A collapsing oil price and the impact of sanctions have made him more dangerous

Final photograph of Alexander Litvinenko

Ex-spy backed murder claims, inquiry told

Witness says Litvinenko wanted world to know he was ‘poisoned’

Battle for Ukraine: How a diplomatic success unravelled

Second part of the series looks at the fate of the Minsk accord

The risk of arming Ukraine

Kiev should be told it cannot win. Sending soldiers will deepen the tragedy, writes Eugene Rumer

Battle for Ukraine: How the west lost Putin

The first of two articles examines how the west misread the Russian leader’s determination

Business backed sanctions after MH17 crash

Flight’s fate saw business give unwavering support to a second round of action