Vladimir Putin is a Russian politician and former Minister of Defense, who rose to power as the first President of Russia. Putin was born in Leningrad in 1952, while his father was conscripte by the Soviet Army during World War II. From an early age, Putin sought to distinguish himself as a child of Russian soldiers who fought against fascists during World War II.
He studied law at Leningrad State University’s School of Law before moving to Moscow after graduation and joining the KGB. His rapid rise through the ranks both surprised and disconcerted Western analysts alike; Putin’s KGB training had given him considerable skills. Which he applied effectively on behalf of Yeltsin’s pro-capitalist administration from 1991-to 1996.
About Vladimir Putin
Putin’s rise to power in the early 2000s was so sudden. So shocking and so complete that it is still almost impossible to accept today. During the 1990s, Russia was a presidential republic. Which meant that power was distributed between the office of the President and the Duma (parliament). Boris Yeltsin had grown increasingly feeble even as his popularity plummeted. After facing a number of major scandals over the misuse of state funds, he resigned from office on 31 December 1999, and Putin was elected President in his place.
Life of Putin
Putin was born on 7 October 1952 in Leningrad to a family of modest means. His father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin (1919-2000), served as an officer in the NKVD during World War II. Putin’s mother, Maria Ivanovna Putina (1926-1995), was a server for an army barracks and his father’s political views were strongly anti-communist. During the war, he had been stationed in Germany and would later describe the Nazi occupation force as “criminal thugs”. Putin did not have any incidents that any of his relatives could remember to confirm that he grew up under Soviet rule with Communist ideology.
Putin studied law at Leningrad State University. While there, he met Anatoly Sobchak, who at the time was a professor of criminal law and Putin’s future boss. After getting his master’s degree in 1975, he went on to work for Leningrad State University as an adviser to Sobchak.
In 1984, Putin was promoted to Deputy Director of Leningrad’s Committee for International Relations and held the office until 1990 when he officially retired from the KGB after 16 years of service.
His personal life
Putin married Lyudmila Shkrebneva in 1983 and they have two daughters, Mariya Putina (born 1985) and Yekaterina Putina (born 1986). He has a daughter from another one of his relationships named Ekaterina Tikhonova. Putin’s personal life has remained mostly private during his presidency. In 2008, his personal assets were valued at $40 million. Putin is reportedly a capable piano player and a judo black belt.
In 1990, Putin moved to Moscow and was employed by the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation where he helped Anatoly Sobchak in his election campaign. In June 1994, Putin became the Head of the Committee for External Relations at the Saint Petersburg Mayor’s office, which facilitated a revival of his political career. Two years later, he was appointed as Director of FSB (Federal Security Service), where he served until March 1999.
In 1996, Boris Yeltsin won reelection to another term as President and named Putin as Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In the late 1980s, Putin rose through the ranks of the KGB, which was at that time under the personal control of then-KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov. He was promoted to head of Soviet diplomatic missions in Germany and Austria in 1990. After which he was moved overseas as head of the KGB station in Prague.
In 1992, he became a Senior Officer at Directorate S of the First Chief Directorate (which had been created earlier that year) and started taking over responsibility for intelligence operations in Moscow, St Petersburg, and Kaliningrad Oblast. Putin left his post in Vienna as a diplomatic officer in August 1995. And returned to Moscow where he assumed a position as head of FSB’s Overseas Operations Department.
In August 1996, Putin was appointed Deputy Head of Presidential Staff and in March 1997 became the head of an FSB department dealing with international relations and cooperation.
In May 1998, Yeltsin named Putin Deputy Chief of the Presidential Staff. Yeltsin announced his intention to resign in November that year. He made his choice of successor public for the first time by having Putin appoint Head of Administration. During this time, corruption charges had been level against him as he was accuse of selling KGB secrets to foreign parties for personal gain. Two months after Yeltsin’s resignation on 31 December 1999, Putin became acting President at age 47 as head of a caretaker government.
1990–1996: Saint Petersburg administration
In the early 1990s, Putin was appoint as the head of the Saint Petersburg Administration. In the city’s first elections after the Soviet era, he supported the liberal politician Yuriy Luzhkov who won by a landslide margin. Putin retained his post in the administration after Luzhkov lost to Ivan Rybkin in 1993 and continued his activity on various committees. During this time, he became involved with a small pro-democratic political party called Union of Right Forces (SPS) and took part in its election campaign.
1996–1999: Early Moscow career
In 1996, Putin relocate to Moscow and was appoint as an advisor on external relations to Anatoly Sobchak, the mayor of the city. In 1997, he became head of the Committee for External Relations where he continued to promote his political agenda. Putin’s chance at the Presidency seem bleak when he was accuse of corruption in late 1998 and resign from his position with Sobchak’s administration in February 1999.
In May of that year, President Yeltsin named Putin Deputy Chief of Presidential Staff where his job was to oversee Chechnya and Dagestan affairs.
1998–1999: Acting President
On 2 June 1998, Yeltsin announced that he wanted a change in the power structure at the top level in Russia. After being appoint as the acting President on 7 June, he name Vladimir Putin as Acting President. Putin was follow by Anatoly Chubais and Sergei Stepashin as head of the Presidential Staff between 23 July and 31 August. In Yeltsin’s last press conference as President on 31 December, he appointed Putin Prime Minister.
During the first two months at his new job, Putin spent a great deal of time gaining support from the Russian Duma. On 20 May 2000, he became Prime Minister for a second time after only one month in office; this time for a full six-year term until 7 May 2007.
2000–2004: First presidential term
On 8 May 2000, Putin was elect President of Russia by popular vote and was inaugurate on 7 May 2001. He was re-elect for a second term on 14 March 2004.
In August 2000, the Kremlin announce that he would pursue the war in Chechnya until the last separatist is defeat, a promise made during his campaign. In November of that year, he won the election for the presidency and became head of state after securing 53% of the votes in the first round. He grant constitutionally permitted two consecutive terms in September 2004. When voters approved extending presidential terms from four to six years.
2004–2008: Second presidential term
Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, who was appoint as his First Deputy Prime Minister in a move seen as ensuring that Putin would remain Russia’s decision-maker even if he left office due to term limits
In March 2007, during a meeting with the Russian ambassadors to foreign countries. Putin said that the most important aspect of Russia’s foreign policy is “to ensure its security, promote its vital interests and reinforce its positions on the world stage”. He say that “the foreign policy of Russia is base on its own unique civilizational heritage, which has been consolidate over centuries and has been root in one of the world’s richest traditions”.
2008–2012: Second premiership
According to Russian experts, Putin’s presidency was a period of “managed democracy”. During his first term, the Federal Assembly passed a constitutional amendment eliminating a two-term limit for the President. In 2007, in the run-up to his election for a second term. He secured support from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, A Just Russia. And other smaller parties which enabled him to win with more than 70% of the votes. In 2008, he established United Russia as Russia’s leading political party.
Russia assumed the presidency of the G8 in 2010. And hosted its leaders’ summit in Saint Petersburg between 6 and 8 June that year.
2012–2018: Third presidential term
On 4 March 2012, Putin elect President for the third time, with 63.6% of the votes. Since taking office, he launched the Russian military into three controversial wars in Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine. 2014, after the annexation of Crimea, his approval rating reached an all-time high at 89%.
After one year in 2015, he won a landslide victory in the presidential election. With more than 76% of the vote on a turnout of 67.62%. In April 2017, after the assassination of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, Putin’s approval rating had fallen sharply to only 41%.
2018–: Fourth presidential term
Vladimir Putin sworn in for a fourth term as president on 7 May 2018
On 18 March 2018, Putin won re-election with 77% of the vote. His most serious rival Alexei Navalny have Bann from running by Russian authorities in December 2016. The election was mark by further suppression of opposition parties and detentions of protesters.
2000: Russia’s Human Rights record
In July 2000, Putin pledge to “strengthen the protection of human rights. And increase civil society’s role” in his first presidential campaign. The following year he issued a decree establishing the Office of Human Rights. And Civil Society to coordinate human rights policy. In December that year, Putin presented a draft law that officially codified protections for political prisoners. Creating the Federal Penitentiary Service as well as other legislation on freedom of assembly and expression.
In 2004, the economy made its first significant recovery since the 1998 financial crisis. Putin succeeded in securing a place for Russia as one of the permanent members of the G8. And began working toward Russia’s return to the world economic markets. He negotiated a US$40 billion deal with French company Total in May 2005, initiating Russia’s return to international oil markets. In 2006, as OPEC and non-OPEC nations were holding talks in Moscow, he initiated what became known as petrodollar recycling. Thanks to this policy of his, some Arab countries have shown a clear interest in investing in Russian projects such as North Caucasus – Oil Pipeline.