Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is serving a six year term as President of Russia since he was elected in 2012. He topped the 2013 Forbes list of most powerful people in the world.
Putin previously served as President from 2000 to 2008. He was Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012. For 16 years Putin served as an officer in the secret service, KGB, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. . From 1985 to 1990, the KGB stationed Putin in Dresden, East Germany, returning to Russia then and entering politics in his native Saint Petersburg in 1991.
People in a number of US-allied nations trust Vladimir Putin more than Donald Trump when it comes to handling foreign affairs, according to a new survey. The results show a significant lack of confidence in both leaders.
Russia's former economy minister, Alexei Ulyukayev, has accused the head of Rosneft and an intelligence service of entrapping him. Ulyukayev is on trial after being allegedly caught red-handed taking a $2 million bribe.
Unlike other Central European leaders, Slovakia's prime minister Robert Fico is often seen rubbing shoulders with Vladimir Putin and has been reluctant to criticize Moscow's role in the Ukrainian conflict. And Slovakia has been busy cementing ties to Belarus, a country criticised for violations of democracy. Julian Berner has this report on Slovakia’s foreign policy offensive in Eastern Europe.
Relations between the US and Russia have rarely been easy but they now appear at a new low. Moscow recently announced the seizure of two American diplomatic properties and ordered a reduction of the US diplomatic presence in Russia by the end of the month. The Kremlin moves come in retaliation to a US sanctions bill overwhelmingly approved by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.