The Russian leader seems to understand the ability of sport to foment feelings of national pride and enhance his popularity at home.
The Russian people need to show the world a different side to the scandal-struck country when the World Cup kicks off.
Massive noxious garbage dumps piling up around Moscow have sparked citizen protests. And those protests are turning into criticism of the political system, which could threaten the Putin regime.
Whatever the reason for faking Arkady Babchenko's death, this episode will not make journalists any safer.
Vladimir Putin's Russia is as much an imperial power as its Soviet and Tsarist predecessors were.
Vladimir Putin's recent re-election was bad news for democracy in Russia. And it's a major loss in the struggle for liberalism, as anti-democratic leaders are assuming power across the globe.
At first, the 2010s seemed full of hope for democracy. The picture today is rather more complicated.
Russian politics depends on a competition between different power networks. And hardline nationalists are winning at the expense of reformers.
The US Democratic Party has filed an unprecedented lawsuit against Russia for alleged hacking during the 2016 presidential campaign. The case contains lessons for Australian politicians.
Russian domestic policy helps explain why women are happy to buy into new feminine ideals.
This Sunday Hungarians vote whether to return prime minister Viktor Orbán to office. The choice they make will affect the future of their country, and Europe.
Not a day passes without fresh speculation about the possible impeachment of Donald Trump, but history indicates that – barring a dramatic turn of events – he is likely to serve out his first term.
How Vladimir Putin is using hostility towards Russia to bolster his own position at home.
Why are the masses not disconnecting from Facebook despite the litany of revelations that the company's brass has long viewed them as dumb sheep?
Chinese official media casts President Xi Jinping as an anti-corruption crusader; critics say he's authoritarian. The reality is that he is a man of contrasts whose traits are difficult to pin down.
The crisis over alleged Russian involvement in a murder attempt on a spy and his daughter in the UK has been called an extension of the Cold War. But that war was about ideology; this crisis isn't.
As Hitler showed in 1936, there's nothing like a massive sporting spectacle to promote your regime.
The Death of Stalin has been banned in Russia. While the film is hardly disrespectful to Russian people, it does make Putin uncomfortable with its satirical take of leadership.
The row over suspected Russian involvement in the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal has sparked some very confrontational social media activity.
Putin and Trump both invoke a kind of religion that emphasises a past golden age, rather than shared practices of church attendance and piety.