189 Facts About Putin


Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on 7 October 1952 and is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who has been serving as the president of Russia since 2012, having previously served between 2000 and 2008.

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Putin was the prime minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012, thus having served continuously as either president or prime minister from 1999 onwards.

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Putin 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.

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Putin moved to Moscow in 1996 to join the administration of president Boris Yeltsin.

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Putin briefly served as director of the Federal Security Service and secretary of the Security Council, before being appointed as prime minister in August 1999.

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Putin returned to the presidency in 2012 in an election marred by allegations of fraud and protests and was reelected in 2018.

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Putin led Russia during a war against Chechen separatists, reestablishing federal control of the region.

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Putin ordered a military intervention in Syria against rebel and jihadist groups.

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In September 2022, Putin announced a partial mobilisation and officially approved the forcible annexation of southern and eastern Ukraine into Russia, an act which is illegal under international law.

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Putin's rule has been characterised by endemic corruption as well as numerous human rights violations, including the jailing and repression of political opponents, the intimidation and suppression of independent media in Russia, and a lack of free and fair elections.

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Putin's 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.

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Putin is the second-longest currently serving European president after Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.

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Putin's grandfather, Spiridon Putin, was a personal cook to Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin.

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Putin's birth was preceded by the deaths of two brothers: Albert, born in the 1930s, died in infancy, and Viktor, born in 1940, died of diphtheria and starvation in 1942 during the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi Germany's forces in World War II.

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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.

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On 1 September 1960, Putin started at School No 193 at Baskov Lane, near his home.

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Putin was one of a few in the class of approximately 45 pupils who were not yet members of the Young Pioneer organization.

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Putin studied German at Saint Petersburg High School 281 and speaks German as a second language.

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Putin studied law at the Leningrad State University named after Andrei Zhdanov in 1970 and graduated in 1975.

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Putin's thesis was on "The Most Favored Nation Trading Principle in International Law".

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Putin met Anatoly Sobchak, an assistant professor who taught business law, and who later became the co-author of the Russian constitution and of corruption schemes in France.

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Putin would be influential in Sobchak's career in Saint Petersburg, and Sobchak would be influential in Putin's career in Moscow.

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In 1975, Putin joined the KGB and trained at the 401st KGB school in Okhta, Leningrad.

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In September 1984, Putin was sent to Moscow for further training at the Yuri Andropov Red Banner Institute.

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Multiple reports have suggested Putin was sent by the KGB to New Zealand, allegedly working for some time undercover as, among at least one other alias, a Bata shoe salesman in central Wellington.

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Putin's work was downplayed by former Stasi spy chief Markus Wolf and Putin's former KGB colleague Vladimir Usoltsev.

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Klaus Zuchold, who claimed to be recruited by Putin, said that Putin handled a neo-Nazi, Rainer Sonntag, and attempted to recruit an author of a study on poisons.

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Putin reportedly met Germans to be recruited for wireless communications affairs together with an interpreter.

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Putin was involved in wireless communications technologies in South-East Asia due to trips of German engineers, recruited by him, there and to the West.

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Putin explained that many documents were left to Germany only because the furnace burst but many documents of the KGB villa were sent to Moscow.

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Putin returned to Leningrad in early 1990 as a member of the "active reserves", where he worked for about three months with the International Affairs section of Leningrad State University, reporting to Vice-Rector Yuriy Molchanov, while working on his doctoral dissertation.

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Putin said: "As soon as the coup began, I immediately decided which side I was on", although he noted that the choice was hard because he had spent the best part of his life with "the organs".

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In 1999, Putin described communism as "a blind alley, far away from the mainstream of civilization".

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In May 1990, Putin was appointed as an advisor on international affairs to the mayor of Leningrad Anatoly Sobchak.

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In March 1994, Putin was appointed as first deputy chairman of the Government of Saint Petersburg.

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In June 1996, Sobchak lost his bid for reelection in Saint Petersburg, and Putin, who had led his election campaign, resigned from his positions in the city administration.

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Putin moved to Moscow and was appointed as deputy chief of the Presidential Property Management Department headed by Pavel Borodin.

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Putin was responsible for the foreign property of the state and organized the transfer of the former assets of the Soviet Union and the CPSU to the Russian Federation.

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On 3 April 1997, Putin was promoted to 1st class Active State Councillor of the Russian Federation — the highest federal state civilian service rank.

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On 27 June 1997, at the Saint Petersburg Mining Institute, guided by rector Vladimir Litvinenko, Putin defended his Candidate of Science dissertation in economics, titled The Strategic Planning of Regional Resources Under the Formation of Market Relations.

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On 25 May 1998, Putin was appointed First Deputy Chief of the Presidential Staff for the regions, in succession to Viktoriya Mitina.

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On 9 August 1999, Putin was appointed one of three first deputy prime ministers, and later on that day, was appointed acting prime minister of the Government of the Russian Federation by President Yeltsin.

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Putin was initially regarded as a Yeltsin loyalist; like other prime ministers of Boris Yeltsin, Putin did not choose ministers himself, his cabinet was determined by the presidential administration.

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On 12 February 2001, Putin signed a similar federal law which replaced the decree of 1999.

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Putin appointed the minister of finance, Mikhail Kasyanov, as prime minister.

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The first major challenge to Putin's popularity came in August 2000, when he was criticized for the alleged mishandling of the Kursk submarine disaster.

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Between 2000 and 2004, Putin set about the reconstruction of the impoverished condition of the country, apparently winning a power-struggle with the Russian oligarchs, reaching a 'grand bargain' with them.

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Near 10-year period prior to the rise of Putin after the dissolution of Soviet rule was a time of upheaval in Russia.

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The death of Politkovskaya triggered international criticism, with accusations that Putin had failed to protect the country's new independent media.

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Putin himself said that her death caused the government more problems than her writings.

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In February 2007, at the Munich Security Conference Putin complained about the feeling of insecurity engendered by the dominant position in geopolitics of the United States, and observed that a former NATO official had made rhetorical promises not to expand into new countries in Eastern Europe.

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On 14 July 2007, Putin announced that Russia would suspend implementation of its Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe obligations, effective after 150 days, and suspend its ratification of the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty which treaty was shunned by NATO members abeyant Russian withdrawal from Transnistria and the Republic of Georgia.

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On 12 September 2007, Putin dissolved the government upon the request of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

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Putin was barred from a third consecutive term by the Constitution.

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Putin has said that overcoming the consequences of the world economic crisis was one of the two main achievements of his second premiership.

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At the United Russia Congress in Moscow on 24 September 2011, Medvedev officially proposed that Putin stand for the presidency in 2012, an offer Putin accepted.

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Protesters criticized Putin and United Russia and demanded annulment of the election results.

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Putin allegedly organized a number of paramilitary groups loyal to himself and to the United Russia party in the period between 2005 and 2012.

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Putin revealed that the two men had long ago cut a deal to allow Putin to run for president in 2012.

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On 4 March 2012, Putin won the 2012 Russian presidential election in the first round, with 63.

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Anti-Putin protests took place during and directly after the presidential campaign.

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Putin's presidency was inaugurated in the Kremlin on 7 May 2012.

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In June 2013, Putin attended a televised rally of the All-Russia People's Front where he was elected head of the movement, which was set up in 2011.

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In October 2014, Putin addressed Russian security concerns in Sochi at the Valdai International Discussion Club.

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In December 2015, Putin admitted that Russian military intelligence officers were operating in Ukraine.

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Putin says that this policy shift can be understood as Putin trying to defend nations in Russia's sphere of influence from "encroaching western power".

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On 30 September 2015, President Putin authorized Russian military intervention in the Syrian civil war, following a formal request by the Syrian government for military help against rebel and jihadist groups.

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In January 2017, a U S intelligence community assessment expressed high confidence that Putin personally ordered an influence campaign, initially to denigrate Hillary Clinton and to harm her electoral chances and potential presidency, then later developing "a clear preference" for Donald Trump.

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In July 2018, The New York Times reported that the CIA had long nurtured a Russian source who eventually rose to a position close to Putin, allowing the source to pass key information in 2016 about Putin's direct involvement.

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Putin continued similar attempts in the 2020 U S presidential election.

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On 15 May 2018, Putin took part in the opening of the movement along the highway section of the Crimean bridge.

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On 18 May 2018, Putin signed decrees on the composition of the new Government.

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On 25 May 2018, Putin announced that he would not run for president in 2024, justifying this in compliance with the Russian Constitution.

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On 14 June 2018, Putin opened the 21st FIFA World Cup, which took place in Russia for the first time.

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On 18 October 2018, Putin said Russians will 'go to Heaven as martyrs' in the event of a nuclear war as he would only use nuclear weapons in retaliation.

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In September 2019, Putin's administration interfered with the results of Russia's nationwide regional elections and manipulated it by eliminating all candidates in the opposition.

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Putin suggested major constitutional amendments that could extend his political power after presidency.

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Putin suggested that Medvedev take the newly created post of deputy chairman of the Security Council.

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On 15 March 2020, Putin instructed to form a Working Group of the State Council to counteract the spread of coronavirus.

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On 22 March 2020, after a phone call with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Putin arranged the Russian army to send military medics, special disinfection vehicles and other medical equipment to Italy, which was the European country hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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On 24 March 2020, Putin visited a hospital in Moscow's Kommunarka, where patients with coronavirus are kept, where he spoke with them and with doctors.

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Putin added that the next week would be a nationwide paid holiday and urged Russians to stay at home.

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Putin announced a list of measures of social protection, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and changes in fiscal policy.

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Putin announced the following measures for microenterprises, small- and medium-sized businesses: deferring tax payments for the next six months, cutting the size of social security contributions in half, deferring social security contributions, deferring loan repayments for the next six months, a six-month moratorium on fines, debt collection, and creditors' applications for bankruptcy of debtor enterprises.

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On 2 April 2020, Putin again issued an address in which he announced prolongation of the non-working time until 30 April.

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Putin likened Russia's fight against COVID-19 to Russia's battles with invading Pecheneg and Cuman steppe nomads in the 10th and 11th centuries.

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In June 2021, Putin said he was fully vaccinated against the disease with the Sputnik V vaccine, emphasising that while vaccinations should be voluntary, making them mandatory in some professions would slow down the spread of COVID-19.

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Putin signed an executive order on 3 July 2020 to officially insert amendments into the Russian Constitution, allowing him to run for two additional six-year terms.

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On 22 December 2020, Putin signed a bill giving lifetime prosecutorial immunity to Russian ex-presidents.

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Putin met Iran President Ebrahim Raisi in January 2022 to lay the groundwork for a 20-year deal between the two nations.

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Putin asked President Joe Biden for legal guarantees that NATO would not expand eastward or put "weapons systems that threaten us in close vicinity to Russian territory".

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Putin described Ukraine as being turned into the "anti-Russia" by the West.

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Putin said that "all responsibility for possible bloodshed will be entirely on the conscience of the regime ruling on the territory of Ukraine".

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President Joe Biden said that be believes Putin "meets the legal definition" of being "a war criminal".

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Putin failed to convince his fellow leaders that "neo-Nazism has long been rampant in the Ukraine, " or materially to support his actions there.

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Putin has repeatedly blamed the West and sanctions on Russia for the emerging global energy and food crises.

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Putin denied accusations that his armed forces are blocking Ukrainian grain exports from the Black Sea even while his armed forces bombed the ports of Odesa and Mykolaiv.

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Putin stated that when Saint Petersburg was founded on the conquered land, no other countries in Europe recognised it as Russian.

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Putin compared the task facing Russia today to that of Peter's, without explicitly mentioning Ukraine.

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Putin claimed that Russia did not "start" any military operations, but was only trying to end those that started in 2014, after "coup d'etat in Ukraine".

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Amid a string of embarrassing defeats in Ukraine, Putin turned 70 years of age, in what the The Independent called an "unhappy birthday".

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In July 2000, according to a law proposed by Putin and approved by the Federal Assembly of Russia, Putin gained the right to dismiss the heads of the 89 federal subjects.

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Putin succeeded in codifying land law and tax law and promulgated new codes on labor, administrative, criminal, commercial and civil procedural law.

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Under Medvedev's presidency, Putin's government implemented some key reforms in the area of state security, the Russian police reform and the Russian military reform.

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In 2006, Putin launched an industry consolidation programme to bring the main aircraft-producing companies under a single umbrella organization, the United Aircraft Corporation .

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In 2014, Putin signed a deal to supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.

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Power of Siberia, which Putin has called the "world's biggest construction project", was launched in 2019 and is expected to continue for 30 years at an ultimate cost to China of $400bn.

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In 2004, Putin signed the Kyoto Protocol treaty designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Putin regularly attends the most important services of the Russian Orthodox Church on the main holy days, and has established a good relationship with Patriarchs of the Russian Church, the late Alexy II of Moscow and the current Kirill of Moscow.

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Russia's chief rabbi, Berel Lazar, said Putin "paid great attention to the needs of our community and related to us with a deep respect".

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In 2016, Ronald S Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, praised Putin for making Russia "a country where Jews are welcome".

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In 2016, Putin oversaw the passage of legislation that prohibited missionary activity in Russia.

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Some analysts believe that this nuclear strategy under Putin has brought Russia into violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

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Putin has sought to increase Russian territorial claims in the Arctic and its military presence there.

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In 2020, Putin signed a law on labelling individuals and organizations receiving funding from abroad as "foreign agents".

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Scott Gehlbach, a professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has claimed that since 1999, Putin has systematically punished journalists who challenge his official point of view.

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Putin has promoted explicitly conservative policies in social, cultural, and political matters, both at home and abroad.

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Putin has attacked globalism and neoliberalism, and is identified by scholars with Russian conservatism.

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Putin has promoted new think tanks that bring together like-minded intellectuals and writers.

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In cultural and social affairs Putin has collaborated closely with the Russian Orthodox Church.

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Still others appreciate that Putin defends some although not all Orthodox teachings, whether or not he believes in them himself.

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Putin supported the 2020 Russian constitutional referendum, which passed and defined marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman in the Constitution of Russia.

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In 2007, Putin led a successful effort on behalf of Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2014 Winter Paralympics, the first Winter Olympic Games to ever be hosted by Russia.

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In 2013, Putin stated that gay athletes would not face any discrimination at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

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Under Putin, Russia has maintained positive relations with the Asian states of SCO and BRICS, which include China, India, Pakistan, and post-Soviet states of Central Asia.

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Putin voiced his willingness of constructing a rail bridge between the two countries.

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Putin made three visits to Mongolia and has enjoyed good relations with its neighbor.

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Putin became the first Russian or Soviet leader to visit Indonesia in half a century in 2007, resulting in the signing of an arms deal.

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The relations between Russia and the Philippines received a boost in 2016 as Putin forged closer bilateral ties with his Filipino counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte.

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Putin has good relations with Malaysia and its then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, as well as with Bangladesh, signing a nuclear power deal with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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Putin made the first Russian or Soviet leader to visit North Korea, meeting Kim Jong-il in July 2000, shortly after a visit to South Korea.

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Putin criticized violence in Myanmar against Rohingya minorities in 2017.

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In December 2004, Putin criticized the Rose and Orange revolutions, saying: "If you have permanent revolutions you risk plunging the post-Soviet space into endless conflict".

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Putin allegedly declared at a NATO-Russia summit in 2008 that if Ukraine joined NATO Russia could contend to annex the Ukrainian East and Crimea.

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Putin went on to declare that the February 2014 ousting of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had been orchestrated by the West as an attempt to weaken Russia.

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In late August 2014, Putin stated: "People who have their own views on history and the history of our country may argue with me, but it seems to me that the Russian and Ukrainian peoples are practically one people".

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Putin endorsed the idea of a Eurasian Union in 2011; the concept was proposed by the president of Kazakhstan in 1994.

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From 2003, when Russia strongly opposed the U S when it waged the Iraq War, Putin became ever more distant from the West, and relations steadily deteriorated.

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Putin's view was that concessions by the West on one of the questions might be met with concessions from Russia on another.

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In February 2007, Putin criticized what he called the United States' monopolistic dominance in global relations, and "almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations".

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Putin publicly opposed plans for the U S missile shield in Europe and presented President George W Bush with a counterproposal on 7 June 2007 which was declined.

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Putin opposed Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008, warning that it would destabilize the whole system of international relations.

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In March 2014, Putin used Kosovo's declaration of independence as a justification for recognizing the independence of Crimea, citing the so-called "Kosovo independence precedent".

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Putin had a very friendly and warm relationship with the former Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi; the two leaders often described their relationship as a close friendship, continuing to organize bilateral meetings even after Berlusconi's resignation in November 2011.

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In late 2013, Russian-American relations deteriorated further when the United States canceled a summit for the first time since 1960 after Putin gave asylum to American Edward Snowden, who had leaked massive amounts of classified information from the NSA.

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Putin gave a speech highly critical of the United States, accusing them of destabilizing world order and trying to "reshape the world" to its own benefit.

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In June 2015, Putin said that Russia has no intention of attacking NATO.

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On 9 November 2016, Putin congratulated Donald Trump on becoming the 45th president of the United States.

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In December 2016, US intelligence officials quoted by CBS News stated that Putin approved the email hacking and cyber attacks during the U S election, against the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

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Putin has repeatedly accused Hillary Clinton, who served as U S secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, of interfering in Russia's internal affairs, and in December 2016, Clinton accused Putin of having a personal grudge against her.

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Putin has stated that U S –Russian relations, already at the lowest level since the end of the Cold War, have continued to deteriorate after Trump took office in January 2017.

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On 18 June 2020, The National Interest published a nine thousand word essay by Putin, titled "The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II".

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Putin is a strongman, and that is very inspiring to Bolsonaro.

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In September 2007, Putin visited Indonesia and in doing so became the first Russian leader to visit the country in more than 50 years.

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Amid calls to ban Putin from attending the 2014 G20 Summit, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he would "shirtfront" the Russian leader over the shooting down of MH17 by Russian backed rebels, which had killed 38 Australians.

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On 16 October 2007, Putin visited Iran to participate in the Second Caspian Summit in Tehran, where he met with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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At a press conference after the summit Putin said that "all our states have the right to develop their peaceful nuclear programmes without any restrictions".

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Putin was quoted as describing Iran as a "partner", though he expressed concerns over the Iranian nuclear programme.

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Putin echoed Assad's argument that anti-regime militants were responsible for much of the bloodshed.

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On 11 September 2013, The New York Times published an op-ed by Putin urging caution against US intervention in Syria and criticizing American exceptionalism.

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Putin subsequently helped to arrange for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

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Some analysts have summarized Putin as being allied with Shiites and Alawites in the Middle East.

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In October 2019, Putin visited the United Arab Emirates, where six agreements were struck with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

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On 22 October 2021, Putin highlighted the "unique bond" between Russia and Israel during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

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Putin's shifting of Russia towards autocracy and weakening of the system of representative government advocated by Boris Yeltsin has met with criticism.

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Putin was described in 2015 as a "dictator" by political opponent Garry Kasparov, and as the "Tsar of corruption" in 2016 by opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny.

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Putin has cultivated a cult of personality for himself with an outdoorsy, sporty, tough guy public image, demonstrating his physical prowess and taking part in unusual or dangerous acts, such as extreme sports and interaction with wild animals, part of a public relations approach that, according to Wired, "deliberately cultivates the macho, take-charge superhero image".

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In 2007, the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda published a huge photograph of a shirtless Putin vacationing in the Siberian mountains under the headline "Be Like Putin".

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Some of Putin's activities have been criticised for being staged; outside of Russia, his macho image has been the subject of parody.

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Putin is believed to be self-conscious about his height, which has been estimated by Kremlin insiders at between 155 and 165 centimetres tall but is usually given at 170 centimetres .

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Putin was ranked the second most powerful individual by Forbes in 2018.

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Putin is known for his often tough and sharp language, often alluding to Russian jokes and folk sayings.

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Putin sometimes uses Russian criminal jargon, albeit not always correctly.

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On 28 July 1983, Putin married Lyudmila Shkrebneva, and they lived together in East Germany from 1985 to 1990.

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An investigation by Proekt published in November 2020 alleged that Putin has another daughter, Elizaveta, known as Luiza Rozova, was born on in March 2003, and with Svetlana Krivonogikh.

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Putin has two grandsons, born in 2012 and 2017, through Maria.

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Putin reportedly has a granddaughter, born in 2017, through Katerina.

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Putin's cousin, Igor Putin, was a director at Moscow-based Master Bank and was accused in a number of money-laundering scandals.

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Putin has been known on occasion to give watches valued at thousands of dollars as gifts, for example a watch identified as a Blancpain to a Siberian boy he met while on vacation in 2009, and another similar watch to a factory worker the same year.

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In 2012, Sergei Kolesnikov, a former business associate of Putin's, told the BBC's Newsnight programme that he had been ordered by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin to oversee the building of the palace.

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Putin said that the mansion, built on government land and sporting three helipads, plus a private road paid for from state funds and guarded by officials wearing uniforms of the official Kremlin guard service, have been built for Putin's private use.

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Putin has received five dogs from various nation leaders: Konni, Buffy, Yume, Verni and Pasha.

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When Putin first became president, the family had two poodles, Tosya and Rodeo.

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Putin's mother was a devoted Christian believer who attended the Russian Orthodox Church, while his father was an atheist.

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Shortly before an official visit to Israel, Putin's mother gave him his baptismal cross, telling him to get it blessed.

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Putin has been practicing judo since he was 11 years old, before switching to sambo at the age of fourteen.

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Putin was awarded eighth dan of the black belt in 2012, becoming the first Russian to achieve the status.

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Putin co-authored a book entitled Judo with Vladimir Putin in Russian, and Judo: History, Theory, Practice in English .

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Russian political magazine Sobesednik alleged in 2018 that Putin had a sensory room installed in his private residence in the Novgorod Oblast.

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