VLADIMIR PUTIN Biography - Polititians


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Name: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin                                                     
Born: 7 October 1952 Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union                             
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (born October 7, 1952, in                                 
Leningrad, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Soviet Union) is the           
President of the Russian Federation. He became acting President on December 31,         
1999, succeeding Boris Yeltsin, and then won the 2000 presidential election. In         
2004, he was re-elected for a second term, which expires on May 7, 2008.               
Putin was born in Leningrad like (now Saint Petersburg) on October 7, 1952. A           
quasi-autobiographical book (Romanization: Ot Pervovo Litsa;                           
the English-language title: First Person, the meaning of the Russian phrase             
being more polysemantic), based on his interviews, translated into English in           
2000 and paid for by his election campaign, speaks of humble beginnings,               
including early years in a communal apartment. According to him, in his youth,         
he was eager to emulate the intelligence officer characters played on the Soviet       
screen by actors such as Vyacheslav Tikhonov and Georgiy Zhzhonov.                     
His mother, Maria Ivanovna Putina, was a factory worker and his father, Vladimir       
Spiridonovich Putin, was conscripted into the Soviet Navy, where he served in           
the submarine fleet in the early 1930s. His father subsequently served with the         
NKVD in a sabotage group during the Second World War. Two elder brothers               
were born in the mid-1930s; one died within a few months of birth; the second           
succumbed to diphtheria during the siege of Leningrad. His paternal grandfather,       
Spiridon Putin, had been Vladimir Lenin's and Joseph Stalin's personal cook.           
Putin's surname translates "man of path" into English.                                 
Putin graduated from the International Law branch of the Law Department of the         
Leningrad State University in 1975. His final thesis was on an international law       
theme - Russian                                                                         
Thereafter he was recruited to the KGB. At the University he also became a             
member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and remained a member until         
the party was dissolved in December 1991.                                               
He worked in the Leningrad and Leningrad region Directorate of the KGB, where he       
became acquainted with Sergei Ivanov.                                                   
In 1976 he completed the KGB retraining course in Okhta, Leningrad. The                 
available information about his first years at the KGB is somewhat contradictory;       
according to some sources, he completed the other retraining course at the             
Dzerzhinsky KGB Higher School in Moscow and then in 1985 - the Red Banner Yuri         
Andropov KGB Institute in Moscow (now the Academy of Foreign Intelligence),             
whereupon (or earlier) he joined the KGB First Chief Directorate (Foreign               
intelligence branch).                                                                   
From 1985 to 1990 the KGB stationed Putin in Dresden, East Germany, in what             
he regards as a minor position. Following the collapse of the East German regime,       
Putin was recalled to the Soviet Union and returned to Leningrad, where in June         
1991 he assumed a position with the International Affairs section of Leningrad         
State University, reporting to Vice-Rector Yuriy Molchanov. In his new position,       
Putin grew reacquainted with Anatoly Sobchak, then mayor of Leningrad. Sobchak         
served as an Assistant Professor during Putin's university years and was one of         
Putin's lecturers. Putin formally resigned from the state security services on         
August 20, 1991, during the KGB-supported abortive putsch against Soviet               
President Mikhail Gorbachev.