(Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin)
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (born 7 October 1952) has been the President of Russia since 7 May 2012.
He previously served as President from 2000 to 2008, and as Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.
During that last term as Prime Minister, he was also the Chairman of the United Russia political party.
For 16 years Putin served as an officer in the KGB, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before he retired to enter politics in his native Saint Petersburg in 1991.
He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin's administration where he rose quickly, becoming Acting President on 31 December 1999 when Yeltsin resigned unexpectedly.
Putin won the subsequent 2000 presidential election and was re-elected in 2004.
Because of constitutionally mandated term limits, Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive presidential term in 2008.
Dmitry Medvedev won the 2008 presidential election and appointed Putin as Prime Minister, beginning a period of so-called "tandemocracy".
In September 2011, following a change in the law extending the presidential term from four years to six, Putin announced that he would seek a third, non-consecutive term as President in the 2012 presidential election, an announcement which led to large-scale protests in many Russian cities. He won the election in March 2012 and is serving a six-year term.
Many of Putin's actions are regarded by the domestic opposition and foreign observers as undemocratic.
The 2011 Democracy Index stated that Russia was in "a long process of regression that culminated in a move from a hybrid to an authoritarian regime" in view of Putin's candidacy and flawed parliamentary elections.
During Putin's first premiership and presidency (1999–2008), real incomes increased by a factor of 2.5, real wages more than tripled; unemployment and poverty more than halved and the Russians' self-assessed life satisfaction rose significantly.
Putin's first presidency was marked by high economic growth: the Russian economy grew for eight straight years, seeing GDP increase by 72% in PPP (sixfold in nominal).
As Russia's president, Putin and the Federal Assembly passed into law a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes.
As Prime Minister, Putin oversaw large scale military and police reform.
His energy policy has affirmed Russia's position as an energy superpower.
Putin supported high-tech industries such as the nuclear and defence industries.
A rise in foreign investment contributed to a boom in such sectors as the automotive industry. Putin has cultivated a "he-man" and "super hero" image, and is a pop cultural icon in Russia with many commercial products named after him.
|Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin - with his Mother|
|Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin|
His mother was a factory worker, and his father was a conscript in the Soviet Navy, where he served in the submarine fleet in the early 1930s, and later served in the NKVD during World War II.
Two elder brothers were born in the mid-1930s; one died within a few months of birth, while the second succumbed to diphtheria during the siege of Leningrad in World War II.
Vladimir Putin's paternal grandfather, Spiridon Ivanovich Putin (1879–1965), was employed at Vladimir Lenin's dacha at Gorki as a cook, and after Lenin's death in 1924, he continued to work for Lenin's wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya.
He would later cook for Joseph Stalin, when the Soviet leader visited one of his dachas in the Moscow region.
Spiridon later was employed at a dacha belonging to the Moscow City Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, at which the young Putin would visit him.
The ancestry of Vladimir Putin has been described as a mystery, with no records surviving of any ancestors of any people with the surname "Putin" beyond his grandfather, Spiridon Ivanovich.
His autobiography, 'Ot Pervogo Litsa' (English: 'In the First Person'), which is based on Putin's interviews, speaks of humble beginnings, including early years in a communal apartment in Leningrad.
|Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin|
By fifth grade he was one of a few in a class of more than 45 pupils who was not yet a member of the Pioneers, largely because of his rowdy behaviour.
In sixth grade he started taking sport seriously in the form of sambo and then judo.
In his youth, Putin was eager to emulate the intelligence officer characters played on the Soviet screen by actors such as Vyacheslav Tikhonov and Georgiy Zhzhonov.
Putin graduated from the International Law branch of the Law Department of the Leningrad State University in 1975, writing his final thesis on international law.
His PhD thesis was titled "The Strategic Planning of Regional Resources Under the Formation of Market Relations", and it argued that Russian economic success would depend on creating national energy champions (?).
It has been suggested that most of the thesis was plagiarized from a paper by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.
While at university he became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and remained a member until the party was dissolved in December 1991.
Also at the University he met Anatoly Sobchak who later played an important role in Putin's career.
Anatoly Sobchak was at the time an Assistant Professor and lectured Putin's class on Business Law (khozyaystvennoye pravo).