Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is the current president of Russia, a position he has filled since 2012, and previously from 1999 until 2008. Books on Putin: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=U… He was also the prime minister from 1999 to 2000, and again from 2008 to 2012. Putin was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) and studied law at Leningrad State University, graduating in 1975. He worked as a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel, before resigning in 1991 to begin a political career in Saint Petersburg. He later moved to Moscow in 1996 to join the administration of president Boris Yeltsin. He briefly served as director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and secretary of the Security Council, before being appointed as prime minister in August 1999. After the resignation of Yeltsin, Putin became acting president, and less than four months later was elected outright to his first term as president and was reelected in 2004. As he was then constitutionally limited to two consecutive terms as president, Putin served as prime minister again from 2008 to 2012 under Dmitry Medvedev, and returned to the presidency in 2012 in an election marred by allegations of fraud and protests; he was reelected again in 2018. In April 2021, following a referendum, he signed into law constitutional amendments including one that would allow him to run for reelection twice more, potentially extending his presidency to 2036.
During Putin’s first tenure as president, the Russian economy grew for eight consecutive years, with GDP measured by purchasing power increasing by 72%, real incomes increased by a factor of 2.5, real wages more than tripled, and unemployment and poverty more than halved; Russian self-assessed life satisfaction rose significantly. The growth was a result of a fivefold increase in the price of oil and gas, which constitute the majority of Russian exports, recovery from the post-communist depression and financial crises, a rise in foreign investment, and prudent economic and fiscal policies. Putin also led Russia to victory in the Second Chechen War. Serving as prime minister under Medvedev, he oversaw large-scale military reform and police reform, as well as Russia’s victory in the Russo-Georgian War. During his third term as president, falling oil prices coupled with international sanctions imposed at the beginning of 2014 after Russia launched a military intervention in Ukraine and annexed Crimea led to GDP shrinking by 3.7% in 2015, though the Russian economy rebounded in 2016 with 0.3% GDP growth. During his fourth term as president, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Russia, and Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, leading to further sanctions being imposed against Russia. Other developments under Putin have included the construction of pipelines, the restoration of the satellite navigation system GLONASS, and the building of infrastructure for international events such as the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Under Putin’s leadership, Russia has shifted to authoritarianism. Experts do not generally consider Russia a democracy, citing the jailing and repression of political opponents, the intimidation and suppression of the free press and the lack of free and fair elections. Russia has scored poorly on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, and Freedom House’s Freedom in the World index. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on 7 October 1952 in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russia), the youngest of three children of Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin (1911–1999) and Maria Ivanovna Putina (née Shelomova; 1911–1998). Spiridon Putin, Vladimir Putin’s grandfather, was a personal cook to Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Putin’s birth was preceded by the deaths 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 by Nazi Germany’s forces in World War II. 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. Later, he was transferred to the regular army and was severely wounded in 1942. Putin’s maternal grandmother was killed by the German occupiers of Tver region in 1941, and his maternal uncles disappeared on the Eastern Front during World War II.