Vladimir Putin

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A VkusVill shop in Moscow. The supermarket chain has withdrawnn ad featuring a lesbian couple and apologised for hurting the feelings of those offended by it. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin\Tass via Getty Images

When Russian supermarket chain VkusVill published an advertisement online last week featuring a lesbian couple, advocates heralded it as a big step fo(...)

The Shahre Naw neighbourhood in Kabul, Afghanistan. With the Taliban advancing and US troops leaving, President Ashraf Ghani and his aides have become increasingly isolated. Photograph: Jim Huylebroek/New York Times

More than 1,000 Afghan government troops have fled into neighbouring Tajikistan to escape a Taliban advance, amid fears that the withdrawal of wester(...)

 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: His health is “the biggest wild card” in assessing stability in North Korea, says Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA analyst. Photograph: STR/KCNA VIA KNS/AFP

The ultimate challenge for spies and analysts studying North Korea is accurately assessing the health of Kim Jong-un, the 37-year-old dictator of the (...)

A security officer checks the QR-code of a food court visitor in  Moscowon Monday. In order to contain the spread of Covid-19 infections, Moscow’s authorities imposed a ban on serving people without QR-codes confirming protection against Covid-19, including people who have recovered from Covid-19 within the previous six months or have negative PCR test results. Photograph: Maxim Shipenkov/ EPA

Months after officials said the country was emerging from the worst of its Covid-19 epidemic, Russia is struggling to deal with record numbers of case(...)

 Children wash kitchen utensils by the banks of the river Oubangui the capital Bangui, Central African Republic. Most of the population in Bangui live well below the poverty line, in a country traumatised by years of unrest. Photograph: Siegfried Modola/Getty Images

Russian mercenaries deployed in one of Africa’s most fragile countries killed civilians, looted homes and shot dead worshippers at a mosque during a (...)

Belarusian opposition activist Roman Protasevich at  a foreign ministry  press conference on June 14th. Photograph: Ramil Nasibulin/EPA

Belarus has moved dissident blogger Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega to house arrest a month after President Alexander Lukashenko’s r(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel: “It isn’t enough when US president Joe Biden speaks to the Russian president. I welcome it, but the EU must also create formats for dialogues. Otherwise, we won’t be able to solve conflicts.” Photograph: Valeria Mongelli/Bloomberg

A Franco-German push for EU leaders to consider inviting Russia’s president Vladimir Putin to a summit has foundered after critics warned against “fre(...)

The HMS Defender, which Moscow said sailed 3km inside Russian territorial waters on Wednesday. File photograph: Ben Mitchell/PA Wire

Britain has denied that Russia’s military fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a UK destroyer to force it to leave Russian waters in t(...)

Vladislav Surkov, former aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin: “It works, this model works. It is a good compromise between chaos and order.” Photograph:  Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

“There are two options,” says Vladislav Surkov as we settle into our seats. “The first is Anglo-Saxon. I give you the menu, you can choose what you wa(...)

June 14th: Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, US president Joe Biden, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg and Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson arrive for a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Pool/AFP via Getty

Joe Biden may have met a host of allies and dignitaries during his eight-day visit to Europe, which concluded this week, but stateside there was only (...)

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