Vladimir Putin
(Владимир Владимирович Путин)

President of the Russian Federation
 

Vladimir Putin was born on October 7, 1952 in Leningrad, modern Saint Petersburg.
“I come from an ordinary family, and this is how I lived for a long time, nearly my whole life. I lived as an average, normal person and I have always maintained that connection,”.

Putin was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000, President from 2000 to 2008, again Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012 and he is the President of the Russian Federation since 7 May 2012. This because of constitutionally mandated term limits, Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive presidential term in 2008.

Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring in 1991 to enter politics in his native Saint Petersburg.

Origins
 

After the war, the Putin family moved into a room in a communal apartment [kommunalka], in a typical St Petersburg dwelling house on Baskov Lane. Vladimir Putin recalls, “It was a building with a well-like yard. Fifth floor. No elevator. Before the war [World War II], my parents occupied half of the house in Peterhof and were very proud of the living standards they had achieved then. It wasn’t really much, but it seemed like an ultimate dream to them.”

Vladimir Putin’s mother, Maria Ivanovna Putina (née Shelomova; 1911–1998), was a factory worker and a very kind and benevolent person.

“We lived simply - cabbage soup, cutlets, pancakes, but on Sundays and holidays my Mom would bake very delicious stuffed buns [pirozhki] with cabbage, meat and rice, and curd tarts [vatrushki]”.


His father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin (1911-1999),  was a conscript in the Soviet Navy, serving in the submarine fleet in the early 1930s. Early in World War II, he served in the destruction battalion of the NKVD.
Later, Putin's father was transferred to the regular army and was severely wounded in 1942.

 

“When World War I began, life in St Petersburg became hard, people were starving, so the entire family moved to Pominovo, a village in the Tver Region my grandmother came from. Incidentally, my relatives still vacation in the house where my grandparents lived. It was in Pominovo that my father met my mother, and they got married at the age of 17.”

1960s


School years

 

In 1960-1968, Vladimir Putin attended Primary School No. 193 at Baskov Lane, near his home. Putin was one of a few in the class of approximately 45 pupils who was not yet a member of the Pioneers.
After the eighth grade, he entered High School No. 281, a chemistry-focused magnet school under the aegis of a technology institute, completing his studies there in 1970.
"I was always late for my first class, so even in winter I did not have time to dress properly"


 

At 12 years old, Putin began to practice sambo and judo. Putin wished to emulate the intelligence officer characters played on the Soviet screen.

Putin studied German at Saint Petersburg High School 281, and speaks fluent German.

Putin studied law at the Saint Petersburg State University in 1970, and graduated in 1975.
His thesis was on "The Most Favored Nation Trading Principle in International Law". While there, Putin was required to join the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and remained a member until December 1991.
Putin metAnatoly Sobchak, an Assistant Professor who taught Business Law (khozyaystvennoye pravo), and was influential in Putin's career.

Teacher
 

From first and eighth grade, Vladimir Putin studied at School No. 193. As he recalls, he was a troublemaker, not a Pioneer.
 

His teacher, Vera Gurevich, recalls, “In the fifth grade, he still hadn’t found himself yet, but I could feel the potential, the energy and the character in him. I saw that he had a great deal of interest in language; he picked it up easily. He had a very good memory and an agile mind.
 

I thought, something good will come of this boy, so I decided to give him more attention, to distract him from the boys on the streets.”

A search for priorities
 

Until the sixth grade, Vladimir Putin was not very interested in studying, but his teacher Vera Gurevich saw that he could do better and get higher grades.
 

She met with his father asking him to influence his son. It did not help much, but Vladimir Putin himself radically changed his attitude toward his studies when he was in the sixth grade.
 

Mr Putin notes, “Other priorities were emerging. I was asserting myself through sports, achieving something. There were new goals, too. No doubt, this had an enormous effect.”

Potential, energy, character
 

In the sixth grade, Vladimir Putin decided that he needed to achieve something in life, so he began getting good grades, which came easily to him.
He was allowed to join the Young Pioneers organisation, and almost immediately became the head of a Pioneer detachment in his class.

 

“It became clear that street smarts were not enough, so I began doing sports. But even that was not enough for maintaining my status, so to speak, for very long. I realised that I also needed to study well,” Vladimir Putin says.

 

Putin studied German at Saint Petersburg High School 281, and speaks fluent German.

Putin studied law at the Saint Petersburg State University in 1970, and graduated in 1975. Putin's thesis was on "The Most Favored Nation Trading Principle in International Law". While there, Putin was required to join the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and remained a member until December 1991. 
Putin met Anatoly Sobchak, an Assistant Professor who taught Business Law (khozyaystvennoye pravo), and was influential in Putin's career.