At some point the West's warnings will have to become deeds, part of the problem is they don't know which Putin they're dealing with.
Rugged Russian President Vladmir Putin visited a centre for endangered Persian leopards at Sochi National Park.
These are difficult days for Ukraine, a country edging toward its second revolution in a decade.
David Cameron has spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin about "the terrible situation" in Ukraine, with violent clashes today leaving at least 39 dead.
– A Downing Street spokesman
The Prime Minister has made further phone calls on the terrible situation in Ukraine. He called President Putin shortly after 6pm, followed by the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk.
All three leaders support the idea of a roadmap that has been put forward by European foreign ministers in Kiev today.
The Prime Minister agreed with President Putin that they should both encourage all sides in Ukraine to get behind this emerging plan as a way to end the violence and open the way to a lasting peaceful solution.
Vladimir Putin is sending an envoy to Ukraine at the request of President Viktor Yanukovich to mediate talks between the government and opposition, marking Russia's first open involvement in the escalating crisis.
Russia has so far steered clear of the violent protests which began when the Ukrainian leader scrapped plans for deals with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Moscow.
A spokesman for the Russian president said: "Putin decided to send (Russian) human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin on this mission."
An international group of business leaders, diplomats and aid agencies have joined forces and issued a plea to the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, urging him to use the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi to help bring peace to Syria.
In an open letter in the Financial Times, the likes of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Virgin Group boss Sir Richard Branson and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have asked Putin to build on his earlier request for a global Olympic truce.
"As Vladimir Putin welcomes the world to Sochi, he has a moment in which to prove that the world's most ambitious Olympics will be used to secure a political legacy of which the Russian people and the rest of the world can be truly proud," said the letter.
US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have held a "businesslike and constructive" phone call ahead of tomorrow's talks on Syria, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said musician Elton John is "an extraordinary person" as he defended his country's stance on homosexuality ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, during an interview with BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.
Mr Putin said: "Read our law carefully - and pay attention to its name. It's called a 'ban on the propaganda of paedophilia and homosexuality'. There are countries, including in Europe, where they're debating the possibility of legalising paedophilia. Publicly discussing this, in parliament.
"They can do what they want, but the people of Russia have their own cultural code, their own traditions.
"It seems to me that the law we adopted doesn't harm anybody. What's more, homosexual people can't feel inferior here, because there is no professional, career or social discrimination against them.
"When they achieve great success, for example Elton John - he's an extraordinary person, a distinguished musician, and millions of our people sincerely love him, regardless of his sexual orientation."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said there is "no danger" for homosexual competitors or spectators at the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi and the country's law banning gay "propaganda" does not harm anybody.
There has been an international backlash over the law and high-profile calls for a boycott of the Sochi games in protest at the legislation.
In an interview on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, the Russian premier said: "We have recently passed a law prohibiting propaganda, and not of homosexuality only, but of homosexuality and child abuse, child sexual abuse.
"But this is nothing to do with persecuting individuals for their sexual orientation. There's a world of difference between these things.
"So there's no danger for individuals of this non-traditional sexual orientation, who are planning to come to the Games as visitors, or participants."
President Vladimir Putin has said Russia is not "going after" gays as he defended a ban on "propaganda" about homosexuality in light of criticism from the West ahead of the Winter Olympics - before he making a comment about leaving "the children in peace".
"There is no ban on non-traditional forms of sexual interaction between people. We have a ban on propaganda of homosexuality," Putin told young volunteers preparing for the games. "We ban nothing, we aren't going after anyone, we have no responsibility for such contacts."
Putin went on to say that some U.S. states had laws considering criminal responsibility for gay sexual intercourse. "We have no such thing, people can feel free and at ease but please leave the children in peace," he said. Putin did not elaborate on what he meant by this.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has got his skates on for an "all-star" ice hockey game as he continues to promote sports and play down controversies ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi.
A day after he took to the ski slopes, Mr Putin picked up a stick and chased the puck in the match, which also involved Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko alongside a host of hockey stars.