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 ally warns Russia faces real crisis

Comments from Alexei Kudrin come as central bank props up midsized lender

From Putin’s parallel universe the crisis looks bright

The president will see an opportunity to tighten his grip on business, writes Eugene Rumer

Russia blocks Facebook protest page

Thousands sign up in support of opposition leader facing jail

Why rage and reason are close relatives

Feeling Smart: Why Our Emotions Are More Rational Than We Think by Eyal Winter

The Kremlin is struggling to restore calm

Moscow is facing its biggest economic crisis since 1998

Oil’s slide is good for the world economy

Fears that cheaper crude creates yet more deflation are misplaced

In Putin’s Russia, risk takes you

If the country is officially a creditor to the rest of the world, what’s the problem?

Mikhail Khodorkovsky
©James Ferguson

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

After 10 years in prison, the oligarch who crossed Putin is poised for a fresh foray into politics, and tells Neil Buckley why the current Kremlin master cannot keep power for ever

Khodorkovsky’s ‘crisis manager’ offer

Former oligarch seeks real democracy for Russia

Putin blames west for Russia’s woes

President predicts rebound to take two years

Ingram Pinn illustration

Forces reshaping world in two words

The splintering of the old order is at its most stark, and brutal, in the Middle East

Sistema shares soar on Putin comments

Russian president says he hopes conglomerate recovers

Putin’s limited options to halt the crisis

Any meaningful recovery in Russia’s economy requires a lifting of sanctions, says Mohamed El-Erian

Rouble crisis opens up Putin to attack

Financial upheaval alters terms of Russian political debate

A figleaf for the Parthenon Marbles

The otherwise worthy journey of Ilissos to Russia would not merit any further comment were the statue not part of the most controversial group of art works of our time

Russia and India renew frayed ties

Putin backs construction of 10 more nuclear power reactors

Hungary and Russia confirm nuclear deal

Budapest awards energy contracts without public tender

Ingram Pinn illustration

Chess moves to transform world politics

International affairs look badly in need of some brilliant new thinking

Merkel accuses Putin of ‘creating problems’

German concern over Russian actions beyond Ukraine

Putin’s passage to India

The Russian president’s visit is part of his focus on building energy market share rather than price

Hollande meets Putin in Moscow

French president makes unexpected stopover to discuss Ukraine crisis

Attack shatters fragile Chechen stability

At least 20 militants and policemen dead in Grozny gun battle

Illustration by Ingram Pinn
©Ingram Pinn

The year of the political strongman

They are busy retelling history as a way of rekindling past glories and reviving old grievances

Putin threatens currency speculators

President says ‘outside enemies’ attempting to bring Russia to its knees

Putin and the perfect economic storm

A fall in real incomes will hit hard working class families in regions supportive of the president

The German club of Putin understanders

Those seen as apologists for the Russian president are finding life is complicated

Serbia caught between Russia and west

Cancellation of South Stream pipeline leaves country feeling burnt

The woman trying to tame the rouble

Russia’s central bank governor has one of most difficult jobs in finance

Pipelines stand in front of electricity pylons near OAO Gazprom's new Bovanenkovo deposit, a natural gas field near Bovanenkovskoye on the Yamal Peninsula in Russia, on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012
©Alexander Zemlianichenko/Bloomberg

Demise of South Stream big setback for Putin

Russia’s deal with Turkey cannot be deemed a serious replacement

South Stream a rare humiliation for Putin

Black Sea pipeline was a pet project of Russian president

Saipem and South Stream: Eni ideas?

Russia’s surprise decision on South Stream hits Saipem

Russia to abandon South Stream

Gas route via Turkey mooted as Russian leader praises Ankara

Oil will test Putin’s resource nationalism

A transition to totalitarian rule depends on an economy that is not deteriorating too quickly, writes Kirill Rogov

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