VLADIMIR PUTIN – The Russian President.

Vladimir Putin was born in 1952 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). As a young man he worked many years in Soviet foreign intelligence, and in the early 1990s he served as St. Petersburg’s deputy mayor in charge of external affairs. Then, in the late 1990s he was head of Russia’s security services, finally becoming the country’s prime minister in 1999 and president in early 2000.

Childhood & Early Life

Vladimir Putin was born to Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin and Maria Ivanovna Putina , in Saint Petersberg, Soviet Union. During 1960-68, he attended the ‘Primary School No. 193’ located at Baskov Lane. He then joined the ‘High School No. 281’, and even took interest in sports like sambo (a martial art form) and judo. In 1970, he enrolled at the ‘Leningrad State University’ Law Department, and as a student he joined the ‘Communist Party of the Soviet Union’. During the same time, he encountered the Russian politician Anatoly Sobchak.He worked on his thesis entitled ‘The Most Favored Nation Trading in International Law’, and in 1975, he graduated from the university.

President of Russia:

In December 1999, Boris Yeltsin resigned as president of Russia and appointed Putin acting president until official elections were held, and in March 2000, Putin was elected to his first term with 53 percent of the vote. Promising both political and economic reforms, Putin set about restructuring the government and launching criminal investigations into the business dealings of high-profile Russian citizens. He also continued Russia’s military campaign in Chechnya.

In September 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States, Putin announced Russia’s support for the United States in its anti-terror campaign. However, when the United States’ “war on terror” shifted focus to the ousting of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Putin joined German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and French President Jacques Chirac in opposition of the plan.

In 2004, Putin was re-elected to the presidency, and in April of the following year made a historic visit to Israel for talks with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon — marking the first visit to Israel by any Kremlin leader.

Due to constitutional term limits, Putin was prevented from running for the presidency in 2008. (That same year, presidential terms in Russia were extended from four to six years.) However, when his protégé Dmitry Medvedev succeeded him as president in March 2008, he immediately appointed Putin as Russia’s prime minister, allowing Putin to maintain a primary position of influence for the next four years.

On March 4, 2012, Vladimir Putin was re-elected to his third term as president. After widespread protests and allegations of electoral fraud, he was inaugurated on May 7, 2012, and shortly after taking office appointed Medvedev as prime minister. Once more at the helm, Putin has continued to make controversial changes to Russia’s domestic affairs and foreign policy.  

In December 2012, Putin signed into a law a ban on the U.S. adoption of Russian children. According to Putin, the legislation—which took effect on January 1, 2013 — aimed to make it easier for Russians to adopt native orphans. However, the adoption ban spurred international controversy, reportedly leaving nearly 50 Russian children — who were in the final phases of adoption with U.S. citizens at the time that Putin signed the law — in legal limbo.

Around this time, Putin also upset many people with his new anti-gay laws. He made it illegal for gay couples to adopt in Russia and placed a ban on propagandizing “nontraditional” sexual relationships to minors. The legislation led to widespread international protest.

Personal Life

In 1980, Putin met his future wife, Lyudmila, who was working as a flight attendant at the time. The couple married in 1983 and had two daughters: Maria, born in 1985, and Yekaterina, born in 1986. In early June 2013, after nearly 30 years of marriage, Russia’s first couple announced that they were getting a divorce, providing little explanation for the decision, but assuring that they came to it mutually and amicably.

“There are people who just cannot put up with it,” Putin stated. “Lyudmila Alexandrovna has stood watch for eight, almost nine years.” Providing more context to the decision, Lyudmila added, “Our marriage is over because we hardly ever see each other. Vladimir Vladimirovich is immersed in his work, our children have grown and are living their own lives.”

Awards & Achievements

He received the Bronze Medal for Faithful Service to the National People’s Army issued in the German Democratic Republic in the year 1989.

In 2006, he was felicitated with the ‘Grand-Croix’ (Grand Cross) by the President of France, Jacques Chirac.

The following year, he was named the ‘Person of the Year’ by ‘Time’ magazine.He was a recipient of the ‘King Abdul Aziz Award’ in 2007 by Saudi King Abdullah.

The same year, he was awarded with the ‘Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’ award by President of UAE.

In 2011, he was awarded with an honorary doctorate by the ‘University of Belgrade’.

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