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.

Putin vows to lean on separatist rebels

Concession to western pressure balanced by message of defiance

Rutte urges tougher action against Russia

Dutch prime minister prepares for return of crash bodies

Putin ally warns on Russia isolationism

Kudrin says stand-off with west over Ukraine will hurt economy

Rebel trio may have slipped Moscow’s bonds

Unclear how much control Kremlin has over separatists

James Ferguson illustration Vladimir Putin
©James Ferguson

Russia is being led to disaster

Putin is revealed as a reckless gambler leading his country into economic and political isolation

Obama warns Russia of isolation

President says Moscow must compel separatists to co-operate

Putin handed ultimatum over crash site

Russia faces further sanctions as western anger grows

West should repair Ukraine’s economy

Those who want Russia punished with tougher sanctions are misguided, writes Thomas Graham

The aftermath of MH17 crash

International pressure grows on Ukraine rebels

Russia adopts delaying tactics over rebels

Moscow under pressure to disown Ukraine militias over MH17 crash

Putin’s next move – invade?

Europe has half-colluded in the ludicrous pretence that Russia is a concerned bystander in Ukraine

Australia threatens Putin with G20 summit ban

Summit ban unless Russia facilitates crash investigation

Crisis ‘a wake-up call to Europe’ on sanctions

MH17 disaster leaves Putin on the back foot

Putin is facing his moment of truth

Tragedy of MH17 shows he is losing control in Ukraine

Putin’s credibility lies with MH17

In the past a war was initiated by artillery, today it is by disinformation, writes Carl Bildt

Crash raises political heat over Ukraine

Blame game could harden positions in Kiev and Washington

Rosneft’s plans for world domination in doubt

Access to long-term finance limited by Russia sanctions

Gloom dominates in city of ‘happiness’

Residents live next to front line between army and separatists

Nato must focus on western ‘hybrid wars’

Foes think the political will for military action has weakened – the west has other strengths

Court freezes assets of ‘Putin’s banker’

Sergei Pugachev is served Russian liquidator’s papers in London

Shanghai to host $100bn Brics bank

Emerging economies share out roles

Putin’s chief weapon is destabilising Kiev

Moscow is undermining the east to keep Ukraine within its orbit

China courtship meets fear and mistrust

Improving bilateral trade in Russia’s far east beset by rivalry

Ukraine accuses Russia of attacking its army

Poroshenko urges EU to judge facts of ‘illegal incursions’

Fresh fight breaks out over top EU roles

Eastern bloc opposes Italian for foreign policy job

Slavyansk bitter as it tries to rebuild

Kiev will have its work cut out to win hearts and minds in the east

Italy accused of soft approach to Russia

Diplomats say Rome dragging feet on sanctions to placate industry

Argentina looks to China and Russia

Fernández to welcome Putin and Xi after US debt dispute

Mullins to quit Indy group for Informa

Second senior figure to leave the group since London Live launch

Putin rethinks tactics on Ukraine

Rhetoric toned down after advance against pro-Russian rebels

China takes senior role in trade talks

Country starts to pull away from other big emerging economies

Relief for BNP Paribas after settlement

Shares rise and customers back the bank after $8.9bn fine

Moscow must build a nation not an empire

Russia needs people and should think of the Eurasian Union as a Nafta, says Dmitri Trenin

Ukrainian president orders rebel attacks

Ceasefire ends as Poroshenko vows to ‘advance and free our land’

Kiev urged to take firmer actions in east

Soldiers and activists protest outside Poroshenko’s office

US business groups attack Russia sanctions

Newspaper ads voice fears over unilateral action

Merkel toughens Russia sanctions talk

German chancellor raises prospect of ‘level three’ action

Russian stocks stage remarkable turnround

RTS index is third-best performer in world over past three months

Putin balances patriotism with politics

Russia showing signs of pragmatism, diplomats say

Kiev calls ceasefire as it tries to secure east

Poroshenko proposes peace plan as Ukraine battles for full control of border