Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin (2017-07-08).jpg
President of Russia
Assumed office
7 May 2012
Prime MinisterViktor Zubkov (acting)
Dmitry Medvedev
Preceded byDmitry Medvedev
In office
7 May 2000 – 7 May 2008
Acting: 31 December 1999 – 7 May 2000
Prime MinisterMikhail Kasyanov
Viktor Khristenko (acting)
Mikhail Fradkov
Viktor Zubkov
Preceded byBoris Yeltsin
Succeeded byDmitry Medvedev
Prime Minister of Russia
In office
8 May 2008 – 7 May 2012
PresidentDmitry Medvedev
First DeputySergei Ivanov
Viktor Zubkov
Igor Shuvalov
Preceded byViktor Zubkov
Succeeded byDmitry Medvedev
In office
16 August 1999 – 7 May 2000
Acting: 9–16 August 1999
PresidentBoris Yeltsin
First DeputyNikolai Aksyonenko
Viktor Khristenko
Mikhail Kasyanov
Preceded bySergei Stepashin
Succeeded byMikhail Kasyanov
First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia
In office
9 August 1999 – 16 August 1999
PresidentBoris Yeltsin
Preceded byViktor Khristenko
Succeeded byMikhail Kasyanov
Secretary of the Security Council
In office
9 March 1999 – 9 August 1999
Preceded byNikolay Bordyuzha
Succeeded bySergei Ivanov
Director of the Federal Security Service
In office
25 July 1998 – 29 March 1999
Preceded byNikolay Kovalyov
Succeeded byNikolai Patrushev
Additional positions
Leader of All-Russia People's Front
Assumed office
12 June 2013
Preceded byOffice established
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union State
In office
27 May 2008 – 18 July 2012
General SecretaryPavel Borodin
Preceded byViktor Zubkov
Succeeded byDmitry Medvedev
Leader of United Russia
In office
7 May 2008 – 26 May 2012
Preceded byBoris Gryzlov
Succeeded byDmitry Medvedev
Personal details
Born
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

(1952-10-07) 7 October 1952 (age 66)
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
(now Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Political partyPeople's Front (2011–present)
Independent (1991–95; 2001–08; 2012–present)
Other political
affiliations
CPSU (1975–91)
Our Home – Russia (1995–99)
Unity (1999–2001)
United Russia[1] (2008–12)
Spouse(s)
Lyudmila Shkrebneva
(m. 1983; div. 2014)
Children
ResidenceNovo-Ogaryovo, Moscow, Russia
EducationSaint Petersburg State University (LLB)
Saint Petersburg Mining Institute (PhD)
AwardsOrder of Honor of the Russian Federation Order of Honour
SignatureOfficial website
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union
Branch/serviceKGB
Years of service1975–1991
Rank1980п-кгб.png Colonel of the KGB[2]
Действительный государственный советник РФ 1 класса (Генерал армии)г.png Actual state adviser of the Russian Federation 1 class

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (n/; Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин, romanizedVladímir Vladímirovič Pútin; born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer serving as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 2000 until 2008.[a][3][4][5] In between his presidential terms, he was also the Prime Minister of Russia under his close associate Dmitry Medvedev.

Putin was born in Leningrad, Russian SFSR. He studied law at Leningrad State University, graduating in 1975.[6] Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before resigning in 1991 to enter politics in Saint Petersburg. He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin's administration where he served as director of the FSB, the KGB’s successor agency, and then as prime minister. He became Acting President on 31 December 1999, when Yeltsin resigned.

During his first presidency, the Russian economy grew for eight straight years, and GDP measured in purchasing power increased by 72%.[7][8] The growth was a result of the 2000s commodities boom, recovery from the post-Communist depression and financial crises, and prudent economic and fiscal policies.[9][10] In September 2011, Putin announced he would seek a third term as president. He won the March 2012 presidential election with 64% of the vote.[11] Falling oil prices coupled with international sanctions imposed at the beginning of 2014 after Russia's annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Eastern Ukraine led to GDP shrinking by 3.7% in 2015, though the Russian economy rebounded in 2016 with 0.3% GDP growth and the recession officially ended.[12][13][14][15] Putin gained 76% of the March 2018 presidential vote and was re-elected for a six-year term that will end in 2024.[16]

Under Putin's leadership, Russia has scored poorly in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index and experienced democratic backsliding according to both the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index and Freedom House's Freedom in the World index (including a record low 20/100 rating in the 2017 Freedom in the World report, a rating not given since the time of the Soviet Union). Experts do not generally consider Russia to be a democracy, citing purges and jailing of political opponents, curtailed press freedom, and the lack of free and fair elections.[17][18][19][20][21] Human rights organizations and activists have accused Putin of persecuting political critics and activists, as well as ordering them tortured or assassinated; he has rejected accusations of human rights abuses.[22] Officials of the United States government have accused him of leading an interference program against Hillary Clinton in support of Donald Trump during the U.S. presidential election in 2016, an allegation which both Trump and Putin have frequently denied and criticized.[23][24][25]

Early life

Putin's parents, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin and Maria Ivanovna Putina (née Shelomova)

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on 7 October 1952 in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg),[26][27] the youngest of three children of Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin (1911–1999) and Maria Ivanovna Putina (née Shelomova; 1911–1998). Vladimir Spiridonovich's father was cook to Lenin.[28] Putin's birth was preceded by the death of two brothers, Viktor and Albert, born in the mid-1930s. Albert died in infancy and Viktor died of diphtheria during the Siege of Leningrad in World War II.[29] Putin's mother was a factory worker and his father was a conscript in the Soviet Navy, serving in the submarine fleet in the early 1930s. Early in World War II, his father served in the destruction battalion of the NKVD.[30][31][32] Later, he was transferred to the regular army and was severely wounded in 1942.[33] Putin's maternal grandmother was killed by the German occupiers of Tver region in 1941, and his maternal uncles disappeared at the war front.[34]

On 1 September 1960, Putin started at School No. 193 at Baskov Lane, near his home. He was one of a few in the class of approximately 45 pupils who was not yet a member of the Young Pioneer organization. At age 12, he began to practice sambo and judo. He is a Judo black belt and national master of sports in Sambo. He wished to emulate the intelligence officers portrayed in Soviet cinema.[35] Putin studied German at Saint Petersburg High School 281 and speaks German fluently.[36][37]

Putin studied Law at the Leningrad State University (now Saint Petersburg State University) in 1970 and graduated in 1975.[6] His thesis was on "The Most Favored Nation Trading Principle in International Law".[38] While there, he was required to join the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and remained a member until December 1991.[39] Putin met Anatoly Sobchak, an assistant professor who taught business law,[b] was co-author of the Russian constitution, and who would be influential in Putin's career.[40]