From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
December 31, 1999
|Preceded by||Boris Yeltsin|
August 8, 1999 – May 7, 2000
|Preceded by||Sergei Stepashin|
|Succeeded by||Mikhail Kasyanov|
|Born||October 7, 1952 (age 54)
Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg)
|Political party||United Russia (not officially a member)|
 Life and career
Putin was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) in 1952. His biography, От Первого Лица (Romanization: Ot Pervogo Litsa), translated into English under the title First Person and based on interviews conducted with Putin in 2000 was paid for by his election campaign. It speaks of humble beginnings, including early years in a rat-infested tenement in a communal apartment. According to his biography, 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.
In the same book, Putin notes that his paternal grandfather, a chef by profession, was brought to the Moscow suburbs to serve as a cook, at one of Stalin's dachas. In "The Court of the Red Tsar" by Simon Sebag Montefiore, a footnote on page 300 cites Putin as saying that while his grandfather did not discuss his work very often, he recalled serving meals to Rasputin as a boy and also prepared food for Lenin. His mother was a factory worker and his father was conscripted into the navy, where he served in the submarine fleet in the early 1930s. His father subsequently served with the land forces during the Second World War. Two older 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.
Putin graduated from the International Department of the Law Faculty of the Leningrad State University in 1975 and was recruited into the KGB. In First Person, Putin described to journalists his early duties in the KGB, which included suppressing dissident activities in Leningrad.
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 1990 he assumed a position with the International Affairs section of Leningrad State University, reporting to the Vice-Rector. In June 1991, he was appointed head of the International Committee of the St Petersburg Mayor's office, with responsibility for promoting international relations and foreign investments.
Putin formally resigned from the state security services on August 20, 1991, during the KGB-supported abortive putsch against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. In 1994 he became First Deputy Chairman of the city of Saint Petersburg, a position he retained until he was called to Moscow, in August 1996, to serve in a variety of senior positions in Boris Yeltsin's second Administration. He was the first civilian head of the FSB (the successor agency to the KGB) from July 1998 to August 1999, and also served as Secretary of the Security Council from March to August 1999.
During the 1990s, Putin received a graduate level degree in economics from a mining institute in St Petersburg. His dissertation was titled "The Strategic Planning of Regional Resources Under the Formation of Market Relations".
 Family and personal life
Putin is married to Lyudmila Putina, a former airline stewardess and teacher of German, who was born in Kaliningrad, (formerly Königsberg). They have two daughters, Maria (born 1985) and Yekaterina (Katya) (born 1986 in Dresden). The daughters attended the German School in Moscow (Deutsche Schule Moskau) until his appointment as prime minister.
Putin is a practicing member of the Russian Orthodox Church, led by Patriarch Alexius II. His conversion, which most observers agree was sincere, followed a life-threatening fire at his dacha in the early 1990s. Very unusual for communist Russia, his mother had been a regular church-goer. His father was a communist and atheist (although he seems not to have objected to his wife's beliefs).
Putin speaks German with near-native fluency. His family used to speak German at home as well.
Putin also speaks passable English.
 Prime Minister and first term as President
Putin was appointed Prime Minister of the Government of the Russian Federation by President Boris Yeltsin in August 1999, making him Russia's fifth prime minister in less than eighteen months. On his appointment, few expected Putin, a virtual unknown, to last any longer than his predecessors. Yeltsin's main opponents and would-be successors, Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov and former Chairman of the Russian Government Yevgeniy Primakov, were already campaigning to replace the ailing president, and fought hard to prevent Putin's emergence as a potential successor. Putin's law-and-order image and his unrelenting approach to the renewed crisis in Chechnya (see below) soon combined to raise his popularity and allowed him to overtake all rivals. While not formally associated with any party, Putin was supported by the newly formed Edinstvo (unity) faction, which won the largest percentage of the popular vote in the December 1999 Duma elections. Putin was reappointed as Chairman of the Government, and seemed ideally positioned to win the presidency in elections due the following summer.
His rise to Russia's highest office ended up being even more rapid: on December 31, 1999, Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned and, according to the constitution, Putin was appointed as the second (acting) President of the Russian Federation. While his opponents were preparing for an election later that year in the fall, Yeltsin's resignation resulted in the elections being held right away, in March. This put all of his opponents at a disadvantage, giving him the element of surprise and an eventual victory. Presidential elections were held on March 26, 2000; Putin won in the first round. Later Putin granted the former president and his family full immunity from prosecution (via presidential decree). Shortly before, Yeltsin and his family had been under scrutiny for charges related to money-laundering by the Russian and Swiss authorities.
 Second term as President
On March 14, 2004, Putin won re-election to the presidency for a second term, earning 71 percent of the vote. Both the election campaign and the balloting were declared "free and fair" by an international observation mission run by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
On September 13, 2004, following the Beslan school hostage crisis, and nearly-concurrent Chechen terrorist attacks in Moscow, Putin launched an initiative to replace the election of regional governors with a system whereby they would be proposed by the President and approved or disapproved by regional legislatures. Opponents of this measure, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, and Colin Powell, criticised it as a step away from democracy in Russia and a return to the centrally run political apparatus of the Soviet era.
A significant amount of Putin's second term has been focused on domestic issues. According to various Russian and western media reports, Putin is extremely concerned about the ongoing demographic problems (death rate being higher than birth rate and immigration rate), cyclical poverty, and housing concerns within the Russian Federation. In 2005, four "national projects" were launched in the fields of healthcare, education, housing and agriculture. In his May 2006 annual speech, Putin proposed increasing maternity benefits and prenatal care for women. Putin has also been quite strident about the need to reform the judiciary. He refers to the federal judiciary as being "Sovietesque" and wants a judiciary that interprets and implements the code rather than the current situation, where many of the judges hand down the same verdicts as they would have under the old Soviet judiciary structure. In 2005, the responsibility for the federal prisons was transferred from the Interior Ministry to the Ministry of Justice.
One of the most controversial aspects of Putin's second term was the prosecution of Russia's richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, President of Yukos oil company, who stole from the Russian State and Russian people hundreds of millions of dollars. While much of the international press saw this as a reaction against a man who was funding political opponents of the Kremlin, both liberal and Communist, the Russian government has argued that Khodorkovsky was in fact engaged in corrupting a large segment of the Duma to prevent changes in the tax code aimed at taxing windfall profits and closing offshore tax evasion vehicles. Certainly, many of the initial privatizations, including that of Yukos, are widely believed to have been fraudulent (Yukos, valued at some $30bn in 2004, had been privatized for $110 million), and like the other oligarchic groups, the Yukos-Menatep name has been frequently tarred with accusations of links to criminal organizations.
In the recent years, the political philosophy of Putin's administration has been described as «sovereign democracy». The political term recently gained wide acceptance within Russia itself and unified various political elites around it. According to its supporters, policy of the President must above all be supported by the popular majority in Russia itself and not be governed from outside of the country; such popular support constitutes the founding principle of a democratic society. 
- See also: Second Chechen War.
Putin's rise to public office in August 1999 coincided with an aggressive resurgence of the near-dormant conflict in the North Caucasus, when Chechen nationalists regrouped and invaded neighbouring Daghestan. Both in Russia and abroad, Putin's public image was forged by his tough handling of this dire challenge        . During the autumn 1999 campaign for the Duma, Kremlin-controlled or allied media accused Putin's chief rivals of being soft on terrorism. On assuming the role of acting President on December 31, 1999, Putin proceeded on a previously scheduled visit to Russian troops in Chechnya; one of the earliest images Russians saw of their new leader was the acting president presenting handing knives to soldiers. Throughout the winter of 2000, Putin's government regularly claimed that victory was at hand. In recent years, Putin has distanced himself from the management of the continuing conflict. In 2003, a referendum was held in Chechnya adopting a new constitution which declares the Republic as a part of Russia. The situation has been gradually stabilised with the parliamentary elections and the establishment of a government loyal to Moscow.
 Foreign policy
In international affairs, Putin has been trying, not without success, to re-establish the strong and independent role once played by the Soviet Union, without, however returning to the cold-war relations with the West. On the contrary, Putin's Russia has been seeking stronger and more constructive ties with Europe and the US. Thus, Russia has become a full-fledged member of the G8 and is currently chairing the Group. At the same time, Putin's attention was equally focused on Asia, in particular China and India.
While President Putin is criticized as an autocrat by some of his Western counterparts, his relationships with US President George W. Bush, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, French President Jacques Chirac, and the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are reported to be friendly. Putin's relationship with Germany's new Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is expected to be "cooler" and "more business-like" than his partnership with Gerhard Schröder .
Putin surprised many Russian nationalists and even his own defense minister when, in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States, he agreed to the establishment of coalition military bases in Central Asia before and during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan. Russian nationalists objected to the establishment of any US military presence on the territory of the former Soviet Union, and had expected Putin to keep the US out of the Central Asian republics, or at the very least extract a commitment from Washington to withdraw from these bases as soon as the immediate military purpose had passed.
During the Iraq crisis of 2003, Putin opposed Washington's move to invade Iraq without the benefit of a United Nations Security Council resolution explicitly authorizing the use of military force. After the official end of the war was announced, American president George W. Bush asked the United Nations to lift sanctions on Iraq. Putin supported lifting of the sanctions in due course, arguing that the UN commission first be given a chance to complete its work on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
In 2005, Putin and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder negotiated the construction of a major oil pipeline over the Baltic exclusively between Russia and Germany. Schröder also attended Putin's 53rd birthday in Saint Petersburg the same year.
During his time in office, Putin has attempted to strengthen relations with other members of the CIS. The "near abroad" zone of traditional Russian influence has again become a foreign policy priority under Putin, as the EU and NATO have grown to encompass much of Central Europe and, more recently, the Baltic states. While tacitly accepting the enlargement of NATO into the Baltic states, Putin attempted to increase Russia's influence over Belarus and Ukraine.
It is difficult to say whether these moves have been successful or not. During the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, Putin visited Ukraine twice before the election to show his support for Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and congratulated him on his alleged victory before the official election results had been announced. Putin's direct support for pro-Russian Yanukovych was widely criticized as unwarranted interference in the affairs of post-Soviet Ukraine. More recently, a crisis has emerged in Russia's relations with Georgia and Moldova, both former Soviet republics accusing Moscow of supporting separatist entities in their territories.
In the 1990s, the growth of organized crime (see Russian mafia and Russian oligarchs) and the fragmentation of law enforcement agencies in Russia coincided with a sharp rise in violence against business figures, administrative and state officials, and other public figures.  Putin inherited these problems when he took office, and during his election campaign in 2000, the new president won popular support by stressing the need to restore law and order and to bring rule of law to Russia as the only way of restoring confidence in the country's economy. 
However, although street mafia-linked violence has decreased, criminal groups currently remain heavily involved the corruption of state and public officials. The Russian homicide rate doubled during the 1990s, and remains high to this day.  While the continued prevasiveness of crime in post-Soviet Russia does not appear to diminish Putin's domestic popularity, violence in Russia has taken a toll on Putin's reputation in the West. For example, some notable Russian homicide or attempted homicide victims in the former Soviet Union have been Putin critics such as Viktor Yushchenko (September 2004), Anna Politkovskaya (October 2006), and Alexander Litvinenko (November 2006). Some Western Russian experts have cautioned against making any assumption of involvement of Putin associates in the deaths of Kremlin critics. "There is no direct evidence linking this to Mr Putin," said Alex Pravda of Chatham House and St Antony's College, Oxford. Pradva added, "You have to remember that an important aspect of Russian life at the moment is a lack of co-ordination between government, corporate and other organisations." "You should not assume, therefore, that an order, if there was one, came from the top. In Russia, a lot of things are done independently. But there is an obsession with security in Russia these days, and that permeates political life and could have influenced people." 
 Press freedom and intimidation
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Putin "has brought much of the once thriving post-Soviet media under indirect government control through the use of punitive tax audits and hostile takeovers. All three major television networks are now in the hands of Kremlin loyalists.". The Committee to Protect Journalists also asserts that Russia has become the third most dangerous place in the world to work as a journalist.   A number of Russian reporters who have covered contentious stories on Russia's campaign in Chechnya, organized crime, state and administrative officials, and large businesses have been murdered. On October 7, 2006, Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist who ran a campaign exposing corruption in the Russian army and its conduct in Chechnya, was found shot to death outside her apartment. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, she was the thirteenth journalist to be killed in Russia in 2006. When asked about Politkovskaya murder, Putin said that her murder brings much more harm to the Russian authorities than her publications.
Since Putin started his term in office, pressure started mounting on mass media companies owned by oligarchs. Boris Berezovsky was forced to deprive with his majority stock in ORT, a nationwide television network. Ownership of another nationwide television network - NTV - was transferred from Vladimir Gusinsky to «Gazprom» to cover debts. After this, broadcasting of TV-6 (TVC) was terminated - the latter being a TV channel owned by Boris Berezovsky, to which a group of former NTV journalists was transferred. Nationwide TV channels like «First channel» (former ORT), «Russia» and NTV became de-facto state-controlled. News coverage raised discussions on freedom of speech in media. Critics is evoked by Western media, Western non-governmental organizations, as well as by some Russian media mostly financed from abroad. At the same time, according to research conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center - VCIOM - which was published in June 2005, the share of Russians approving censorship on TV has grown during the year prior to research from 63% to 82%. Sociologists believe that Russians are not voting in favour of press freedom suppression, but rather for expulsion of ethically doubtful material from media broadcasts.
 Popular support for President Putin
Although many reforms taken in modern Russia under Putin’s rule were generally criticized by Western media, "neither the Russian nor the American publics are convinced Russia is headed in an anti-democratic direction" and "Russians generally support Putin’s concentration of political power and strongly support the re-nationalization of Russia’s oil and gas industry", as shown in a joint poll by World Public Opinion in the U. S. and the Levada Center in Russia, in June-July 2006. Moreover, Russians generally support reforms initiated by Putin's team.
According to a public opinion survey conducted in July 2006 by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center - VCIOM - Putin enjoyed support of 87% of all Russians in his home country, while 60% of them had full confidence in him by the time of the survey being conducted. This is one of the highest job approval ratings among world leaders of his scale as of the year 2006.
 See also
- Speeches by the President at the official website.
- Interview with NBC TV channel taken on July 12, 2006, before G8 summit.
 Putin trivia and humour
Putin works out regularly, spending much of his free time exercising. One of Putin's favorite sports is the martial art of judo. Putin began sambo (Soviet martial art developed for Red Army and NKVD) at the age of 14, before switching to judo, which he continues to study today. Putin won competitions in his hometown of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), including the senior championship of Leningrad. He is President of the Yawara Dojo, the same St. Petersburg dojo he studied at as a youth. Putin co-authored a book on his favorite sport, published in Russian as Judo with Vladimir Putin and in English under the title Judo: History, Theory, Practice.
Though he is not the first world leader to practice judo, Putin is the first leader to move forward in the advanced levels. Currently, Putin is a black belt (6th dan) and is best known for his Harai goshi, a sweeping hip throw.
In September 2006, France's president Jacques Chirac awarded Vladimir Putin the dignity of the Grand Cross of the Legion d'Honneur, the French highest decoration, to celebrate his contribution to the friendship between the two countries. This decoration is usually awarded to the heads of state considered as very close to France.
 Accusation of plagiarism
Vladimir Putin has been accused by fellows Clifford Gaddy and Igor Danchenko at the Brookings Institution of plagiarism. As alleged in the article by The Washington Post, "large chunks of Putin's economics dissertation on planning in the natural resources sector were lifted straight out of a management text published by two University of Pittsburgh academics nearly 20 years earlier."
- On June 28, 2005, Putin made headlines in an unusual incident involving a New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX championship ring. Three days earlier Putin had met with U.S. business executives, including Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Near the end of the meeting Kraft showed Putin the ring, which features 124 diamonds, and the president was clearly impressed. At this point Kraft handed the ring to Putin who tried it on for a moment, then slipped it into his pocket and promptly left. The event caused a brief stir as the New York Sun  and other news outlets suggested that Kraft had not intended to give away the very valuable ring. Kraft, who has Russian ancestors, later told the Associated Press that he gave the ring to Putin as a gift and token of respect. 
- On October 19, 2006, Putin reportedly made disturbing remarks to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel about Israeli President Moshe Katsav. Putin was quoted as saying, "Say hello to your president. He really surprised us...turned out to be quite a mighty man. He raped 10 women. I never expected it from him. He surprised all of us. We all envy him." Other news agencies (AP, AFP) reported a milder version of Putin's words: «Say hello to your president - he surprised us all. We could not even imagine that he can make it [or cope] with 10 women».  It was later confirmed that he actually said "had ten women"  In a call-in television programme Putin did not deny making the comment but said that using instruments such as protecting women’s rights to resolve political issues that are unconnected with this problem is absolutely inadmissible. And this is because it actually discredits the struggle for women’s rights. He also criticised the press's 'eavesdropping' on his conversation with Olmert as 'unseemly'.
- On June 28, 2006 Putin, while walking by a small crowd of tourists in a Kremlin courtyard, gave a "belly kiss" to a young boy of five or six years old. As he talked with the boy for a few seconds, he tugged at the boy's shirt before finally lifting it up and kissing him on his bare stomach. This raised a few eyebrows around the world. In response to the controversy, the Russian president said, "He was very sweet. I'll be honest, I felt an urge to cuddle him like a kitten and that led to the gesture that I made. There was nothing behind it really."
- In a transcript published July 12th, 2006, Putin is reported to have responded to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's political criticism by saying, "I think the statements of your Vice-President of this sort are the same as an unsuccessful hunting shot." U.S. President George W. Bush later remarked that the comment was "pretty clever, actually, quite humorous." 
- During the 32nd G8 summit in July of 2006, Putin said at a press conference, "We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, I will tell you quite honestly." in response to Bush's accusations of the decline of democracy in modern Russia.
- Also during the 32nd G8 summit, following journalists' criticisms of the Russian government's record on Human rights, Putin was quoted as remarking that, "There are also other questions, questions let's say about the fight against corruption. We'd be interested in hearing your experience, including how it applies to Lord Levy." Lord Levy, a member of the British House of Lords, had been arrested (and bailed) the previous week in relation to the "Cash for Peerages" police inquiry into the soliciting of financial donations to British political parties in return for honours. 
 Putin in humour and fiction
- The weekly TV show Kukly used puppets representing the most recognizable and powerful Russian politicians, including a puppet-president, to satirize current events. The show was aired on NTV channel from 1994 to 2002. The success of Kukly was to a great extent due to its scriptwriter Victor Shenderovich.
- Short humorous stories about Vladimir Vladimirovich's everyday life and work Vladimir Vladimirovich™ are regularly published by journalist Maxim Kononenko, popularly known under the sobriquet "Mr. Parker". In these essays, often alluding to contemporary events, Parliament is depicted as consisting of androids, a Deputy Chief of Staff being both their constructor and programmer; Vladimir Vladimirovich is fond of collecting things concerned with key historical events or people, etc. A collection of these stories, thoroughly commented, was published as a book in August 2005. German and English versions of these anecdotes are available as well. Kononenko wrote that some of these stories were brought to Putin.
- Andrey Dorofeev's vision of Putin compares Putin (a former KGB agent) to Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the KGB.
- In the South Park episode Free Willzyx, Putin is shown as a president that badly needs money for the Russian economy. He is shown to be extremely excited when he is asked to fly a whale to the moon for 20 million dollars as this money will save Russia.
- Several comedic sources have commented on the fact that Putin bears a resemblance to Dobby from the film version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
- On his show, The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert announced his support for Putin in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
 See also
 References and notes
- ^ *Putin, Vladimir (May 2000). First Person (Russian title: От Первого Лица). Public Affairs, 208pp. ISBN 1586480189.
- ^ Sovereignty is a Political Synonym of Competitiveness, Vladislav Surkov, public appear, 7 February 2006
- ^ Our Russian Model of Democracy is Titled «Sovereign Democracy», Vladislav Surkov, briefing, 28 June 2006
- ^ Human Rights Watch Reports, on human rights abuses in Chechnya. Retrieved November 22, 2006
- ^ The Crisis In Chechnya, by Edward W. Walker, Executive Director, Berkeley Program in Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies, University of California, Berkeley. Study suggests main aim of original 1994 invasion was not to curb terrorists, but because of Russian government's desire to exploit Chechnya's oil and gas resources. Retrieved November 22, 2006
- ^ Chechnya Weekly, a publication of the JamesTown foundation. Contains special coverage of the crisis in the breakaway republic; aiming to inform policymakers, the media, and the public of developments in Chechnya, discuss the origins of the conflict and explore the possibilities for peace. Retrieved November 22, 2006
- ^ Article in the Times UK documenting the sociopolitical climate in Chechnya. Retrieved November 18, 2006
- ^ Putin's March 2003 address to the Inhabitants of the Chechen Republic, concerning the upcoming constitutional referendum and the situation in general.
- ^ Amnesty Iternational's documentation of human rights abuses in Chechnya. Retrieved November 18, 2006
- ^ Interview (March 27, 2003) with Oleg Orlov, one of the leaders of 'Memorial', Russia’s leading human rights organization. Retrieved November 18, 2006
- ^ Views of today Chechnya, published in November 29, 2006.
- ^ Tanya Frisby, "The Rise of Organised Crime in Russia: Its Roots and Social Significance," Europe-Asia Studies, 50, 1, 1998, p. 35.
- ^ Answers on questions asked during interview to ARD TV channel (Germany), Dresden, 10 October 2006
- ^ Russian media set for landmark deals, The Financial Times, 8 January 2002
- ^ Helsinki summit: Europe urged to remind Russia of its human rights commitments, Reporters Without Borders, 24 November 2006
- ^ Freedom of press: Russia has outpaced Ethiopia, Radio Liberty, 24 October 2006
- ^ a b 82% of Russians Approve TV Censorship, Russian Development Portal, 24 June 2005
- ^ VCIOM: Almost All Russians Trust Putin, 29 august 2006
- ^ President Bush - Overall Job Rating - PollingReport.com, November 9, 2006
- ^ Vladimir Putin: the NPR interview U.S. radio station National Public Radio New York (November 15, 2001)
- ^ Putin, Vladimir V., Vasilii Shestakov, Alexey Levitsky, Aleksei Levitskii (July 2004). Judo: History, Theory, Practice. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1-55643-445-6.
- ^ a b Tom Ross. Presidential Judo. FightingArts.com.
- ^ David R. Sands (March 25). Researchers Peg Putin as a Plagiarist over Thesis. The Washington Times.
- ^ What Putin Really Said, 19 October 2006.
 External links
- The official site of the President of the Russian Federation
- Artiom Malgin, Jaroslav Skvortsov, Alexandr Tchechevishnikov (Moscow State Institute of International Relations, MGIMO); published by the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies, Warsaw: Aims, Priorities and Tasks: Attempt at a Systematic Analysis of the Presidential Speeches In Russia (2000 – 2005); XV Economic Forum Krynica 7-10 September, 2005
- The Accidental Autocrat, in The Atlantic Monthly, March 2005 (may require subscription)
- Russia's Foreign Policy in a resurgent mode: An Analysis
- Transcript of the Interactive Webcast with the President, held on July 7, 2006 (BBC version).
- RussianSpy: Vladimir Putin
- BBC – Vladimir Putin: Spy turned politician
- Putin and his judo activities
- Transcript of an interview with Larry King, September 2000
- Vladimir.Vladimirovich.ru political satire site
- Vladimir Putin Fan Club
- Petroleum Music composition is devoted to Putin V.V.
- Anatol Lieven. "Putin versus Cheney", International Herald Tribune, May 11, 2006.
Nikolai Dmitrievich Kovalev
|Director of FSB
|Prime Minister of Russia
August 8, 1999–May 7, 2000
|President of Russia
December 31, 1999 – present
|Chair of the G8
(Angela Merkel is expected to succeed)
|Presidents of the Russian Federation|
|Boris Yeltsin • Vladimir Putin|
|Stephen Harper | Jacques Chirac | Angela Merkel | Romano Prodi | Shinzo Abe | Vladimir Putin | Tony Blair | George W. Bush|
|DATE OF BIRTH|
|PLACE OF BIRTH|
|DATE OF DEATH|
|PLACE OF DEATH|