Pedestrians pass a neon sign displaying the latest Russian ruble euro dollar exchange rate outside a currency exchange bureau in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday. The rouble sank to a record, deepening Russia’s currency crisis, as people scrambled to convert their money into dollars after a surprise interest-rate increase failed to shore up investor confidence. (Photograph: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Russia has failed to halt the collapse of the rouble, leaving president Vladimir Putin facing a full-blown currency crisis that could weaken his iron (...)

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar with Russian deputy prime minster Igor Shuvalov and Fifa president Joseph Blatter (centre) in December 2010 after the announcement of the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Photograph: EPA.

John Major used to tell a story about walking through the Kremlin with then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin some time in the mid-1990s. “Boris, in one(...)

Russian soldiers dressed in Soviet WWII uniform march through  Red Square in Moscow.

Russia is both a tragedy and a menace. In the Financial Times this week Sergey Karaganov offered an arresting insight into the blend of self-pity and (...)

Former taoisigh Brian Cowen (left) and Albert Reynolds with Arthur French of the K Club at a reception in Áras an Uachtaráin hosted by President Mary McAleese.  Photograph : Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

The former taoiseach Albert Reynolds, who has died aged 81, made Northern Ireland his priority when he took office in 1992. Building on the groundwork(...)

Eduard Shevardnadze, who has died aged 86, was Mikhail Gorbachev’s foreign minister from 1985 onwards and played a key part in guiding Russia towards (...)

Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991. The former Soviet president  dismissed the request for his prosecution as “absolutely unreasonable from the historic point of view”. Photograph: Reuters/Alexander Natruskin

Most Russians are overjoyed that the Crimea is once more part of their territory and that Russian president V(...)

John Fitzpatrick:  Organised with Denis O’Brien the dinner  for Bill Clinton at Shanahan’s on  St Stephen’s Green. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Former US president Bill Clinton shared his thoughts on the crisis in Ukra(...)

Soldiers without identifying insignia guard the Crimean parliament building next to a sign that reads ’Crimea Russia’ after taking up positions in Simferopol, Ukraine. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

As the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, its republics elected their own governments and began voting for independence. The Soviet pre(...)

Ukraine’s ousted president Viktor Yanukovich (left). He said he was “determined to fight to the end for the implementation of important compromise agreements that will bring Ukraine out of the deep political crisis. Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Ukraine’s ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich, has surfaced in Russia and is still claiming to be the legitimate ruler of his country, according to(...)

Rengin Yurdakul: ‘I don’t even speak the language of my ancestors but I feel a deep pain – I feel that I’m Circassian; it’s who I am.’ Photograph: Stephen Starr

The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics last Friday week presented the world with a history of Russia equally romantic and fanciful. But a (...)