BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia’s strongman leader, Aleksandar Vucic, is fed up with being reviled as a “little Putin” intent on aggression against his country’s fragile neighbors in the Balkans. For starters, Mr. Vucic noted wryly in an interview in the library of the presidential palace this month, “I am almostContinue Reading

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, plan to meet on Friday in the southern Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi, for a second face-to-face conversation in less than three weeks against a complex backdrop of dovetailing and competing interests. Aides to theContinue Reading

Shortly after Russia shocked the world by attacking Ukraine on Feb. 24, Ilya V. Yashin, a local Moscow councilman and prominent opposition figure, decided it was time to see a dentist. The Kremlin was in the process of criminalizing criticism of the war, and Mr. Yashin, a very vocal critic,Continue Reading

Western intelligence officials, as well as the Kremlin, this week dismissed longstanding rumors that Vladimir V. Putin, the 69-year-old Russian president, is unwell. Mr. Putin coughed during a speech in Moscow on Wednesday, leading observers to raise concerns about his health. His planned meeting that day with officials from SouthContinue Reading

Putin met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, and with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He also met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Tuesday. “I am very pleased to be on the hospitable Iranian soil…We can boast about record figures in terms of trade growth,” said PutinContinue Reading