Vladimir Putin

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US president Joe Biden: The defence of democracy against outside enemies, rather than those within, slightly misses the point. Photograph: Oliver Contreras/EPA

Before the first World War, there were a handful of democratic nations. In December, US president Joe Biden will convene a hundred or so at a virtual (...)

Muslims pose for a photograph outside the Kul Sharif mosque  in Kazan during a celebration of Eid al-Fitr festival on May 13th last. Photograph: Yegor Aleyev/Tass via Getty Images

A fortress razed and then rebuilt by a triumphant Ivan the Terrible would seem to be an unlikely symbol of tolerance and inclusivity. But the snow-wh(...)

 Zhang Gaoli:  Seemed to embody the qualities that the Chinese Communist Party prizes in officials: austere, disciplined, and impeccably loyal to the leader of the day. Photograph: Wu Hong-Pool/Getty Images

Before Zhang Gaoli was engulfed in accusations that he had sexually assaulted a tennis champion, he seemed to embody the qualities that the Chinese Co(...)

Rescuer workers arriving at the Listvyazhnaya coal mine near the town of Gramoteino, Siberia on Thursday. Photograph: Russian Emergency Situations/AFP via Getty Images

A fire at a Siberian coal mine has killed 52 miners and rescuers, according to Russian news agencies. Officials previously said that rescuers found (...)

Chelsea owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich: said he was defamed by 26 specific passages in the book by the journalist Catherine Belton. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

A judge has ruled that a number of passages in the bestselling book Putin’s People convey a defamatory meaning against Roman Abramovich, including a c(...)

Children walk next to a Russian Navy boat at a second World War memorial monument in Kaliningrad. Photograph: Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty

As the chaos of the Soviet collapse gradually receded through the 1990s, people in Kaliningrad caught glimpses of a bright future for Russia’s western(...)

Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch, Yelena Zhemkova of International Memorial and Alexander Cherkasov of Memorial Human Rights Centre at a press conference in Moscow. Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty

Prominent Russian and international rights defenders have urged Moscow to halt a legal campaign to close Memorial, the country’s leading civil society(...)

Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of Russia’s top cybersecurity company, denies US and UK claims that his eponymous firm has links to Moscow’s security services. (The device visible over his shoulder in the office is an anti-drone system.) Photograph: Daniel McLaughlin

Hackers in Russia who target foreign firms and critical infrastructure such as Ireland’s health service will enjoy impunity until the West works more (...)

A Belarusian state handout photograph of a migrant at the Belarusian-Polish border crossing. Photograph via EPA

Worsening tensions on the European Union’s eastern border, where Polish forces have used water cannons against restive crowds of people seeking to cro(...)

A worker paints over graffiti of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in Saint Petersburg last April 28. Photograph:   Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

“Only ‘nonsense’ interests me, only that which makes no practical sense,” wrote Daniil Kharms, one of the most original and beloved writers of the Sov(...)

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