Vladimir Putin

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Russians, celebrating here after their win over Egypt, have been swept up in the carnival atmosphere of this World Cup. 
 Photograph: Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

It’s Friday lunchtime and there’s a problem with my railway ticket. The passport number on the ticket doesn’t correspond with the actual passport numb(...)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju (left) with Chinese president Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan in  Beijing.  Photograph: North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency

China’s president Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have agreed to bolster “strategic and tactical co-operation” amid signs that China ma(...)

Artem Dzyuba of Russia celebrates scoring against Egypt at Saint Petersburg Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

Russian pep Playing a World Cup in your home country is always sure to give you an extra adrenaline rush and a pep in your step and for Russia it cert(...)

 Former Russia and Hull City manager Leonid Slutsky. Photograph: Ed Sykes/Action Images/Reuters

A Russian soccer analyst said he will no longer commentate on World Cup matches for Russia’s biggest state-run broadcaster, four days after breaking (...)

Former Fifa President Sepp Blatter speaks to the media as he arrives to the hotel St Regis in Moscow during the 2018 World Cup. Photo: Vasily Maximov/Getty Images

England deserve to host the World Cup finals in 2030 and should mount a joint bid with Ireland, banned former Fifa president Sepp Blatter said on Wedn(...)

Tourism has been vital to Sochi for more than 100 years. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

It’s been a good week in Sochi, the Black Sea resort put on the map by Joseph Stalin and revitalised by Vladimir Putin. The Irish Times made the rooki(...)

Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, Fifa president Gianni Infantino and Russian president Vladimir Putin  in Moscow on Thursday. Photograph:  Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/EPA

Sport and politics shouldn’t mix, goes the earnest cliché. Except they do – all the time. And that’s partly what makes some sports so interesting. The(...)

Mohammad bin Salman,  Fifa president Gianni Infantino and Russian president Vladimir Putin at the World Cup opening ceremony. Photograph: Alexei  Druzhinin/EPA

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman appeared in public on Thursday for the first time since mid-April at the opening of the World Cup in M(...)

  Yuri Gazinskiy  celebrates scoring Russia’s opening goal with team-mates in the World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Photograph: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images

Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 All happy families are alike. The national football team was supposed to be the weak link in Rossiya’s football extravaganza (...)

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny freed after a 30-day sentence: “If you are planning to breach public order you had better hurry...”  Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty

Russia’s prison service will offer exceptional comforts to rowdy football fans unlucky enough to be detained during the World Cup, according to Russia(...)

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