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.
Victims' family members of the MH17 crash have filed a lawsuit totaling nearly $900 million against Igor Strelkov, former leader of the Ukrainian separatist movement. According to the court papers, Russia is complicit.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an amnesty earlier this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The Kremlin said up to 60,000 prisoners would be released and a further 200,000 would have their sentences suspended. But as Mareike Aden reports from Moscow, human rights activists now believe the amnesty was simply a sham.
Tensions between Russia and the west are at risk of escalating beyond the crisis in Ukraine and into a wider regional standoff. Amid reports that the United States plans to deliver additional arms to NATO member allies in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin is promising to strengthen his country's nuclear arsenal. Charles Maynes has more from Moscow.
Russian President Putin has said that Moscow will "defend" its interests after Belgium and France froze Russian assets. The move comes after a court awarded claimants a record $50 billion over defunct oil company Yukos.