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.
With the 2014 World Cup in Brazil now a thing of the past, the torch passes to Russia to host the next tournament in 2018. In a ceremony before the Germany-Argentina final, Russian President Vladimir Putin was on hand promising his country would deliver a tournament to rival the Brazil games. And, as Charles Maynes reports from Moscow, Russians are counting on it.
Russia and Germany's leaders are calling on Ukraine to step up peace efforts and end the crisis in the east of the country. President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor Angela Merkel are calling on Kiev and pro-Russian separatists to engage in "direct talks as soon as possible."
Violence is escalating in eastern Ukraine after the Kiev government failed to agree to extend a shaky ten-day ceasefire.Russian president Vladimir Putin has accused his Ukrainian counterpart of hampering peace efforts. But the Kyiv government claims militants had been using the truce as an opportunity to renew their supply of Russian arms.