30 Facts About the World’s Most Powerful Individual - Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born on October 7, 1952, in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, is the current President of the Russian Federation. Since 2013, he has been ranked as the World’s Most Powerful Individual, by Forbes every year. Here are 30 interesting facts about him:

  1. According to his biography, on 9 November 1989, during the fall of Berlin Wall, he burnt the documents relating to KGB to avoid demonstrators from acquiring it.
  2. When Russian-Chinese Military exercise was conducted on the Russian ground, first time ever in the history, many western countries speculated the formation of an Asian military organization in opposition to NATO. When asked about it he said “this kind of comparison is inappropriate in both form and substance.”
  3. He joined KGB in 1975, and served in Dresden, East Germany from 1985 to 1990 in the guise of a translator.
  4. He backed the idea of Eurasian Union since 2011, which finally took form on 1 January 2015. The idea was initially proposed by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan back in 1994.
  5. Putin was accused by CBS News of approving Cyber Attacks on Hilary Clinton during the presidential campaign in 2016. He congratulated Donald Trump on his Presidential victory.
  6. He joined Mayor Sobchak as Internal Affairs advisor in 1990. He was soon promoted to the head of the Committee of External Relations at Saint Peterburgs Mayor’s Office in 1991 and resumed office till 1996.
  7. According to British Government’s report Putin must have been behind the murder of Alexander Litvinenko by poisoning in London. Litvinenko had written books and also made public statements about FSB’s involvement in mass murders.
  8. He became the first ever Russian President to visit Australia in 2007 when he attended the APEC meeting in Sydney. He later signed a Uranium trade deal to sell uranium to Russia.
  9. He won support from all around the world for international sporting events to be held in Russia. Following this he successfully conducted 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, first ever in Russia. He also won the rights for 2018 FIFA World Cup.
  10. He has been criticized by many for deliberately showing his macho image during his outdoor activities. Some of them include swimming in cold Siberian River, flying a military jet and demonstrating martial arts, all bare chested.
  11. There are many songs on Putin and the notable once include: “Go Hard Like Vladimir Putin" sung by K. King and Beni Maniaci, “A Song About Putin" by the Russian Airborne Troops band and “VVP” by Tolibjon Kurbankhanov.
  12. He has reported his wealth assets to be around 3.6 million rubles in 2012, which includes 833 sqft apartment in Saint Petersburg and other assets.
  13. During his time as the head of External Relations in 1992, he was investigated by the city legislature council for understating the prices of the export metals to the tune of $93 million in exchange for foreign food aid which never arrived.
  14. He has two pet dogs namely Buffy and Yume. Both the dogs were gifts from Bulgarian Prime minister Boyko Borisov and Japan’s main island Akita Perfecture respectively. Yume was a gift for his support during the tsunami in Japan.
  15. He once took his dog to a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel in Sochi in 2007. She was really scared as she has dog phobia.
  16. At the age of 14 he began training in martial art Sambo before switching to Judo. He has won competitions in both the formats of the martial arts.
  17. He wrote a dissertation in economics under the title “The Strategic Planning of Regional Resources Under the Formation of Market Relations” in June 1997. However, after he became president, many at the Brookings Institute accused it of plagiarism.
  18. He became the Acting President of the Russian Federation in December 1999 when the then president Yeltsin resigned unexpectedly. He was made the Acting Prime Minister of the Government of Russian Federation in August 1999 by Yeltsin.
  19. His first major challenge after becoming President arose in August 2000 when he was criticized for mishandling of the Kursk Submarine Disaster. He was vacating during the disaster and took several days to visit the scene.
  20. After 2002 Moscow theatre hostage crisis where 130 hostages died during the Special Forces rescue operation, media warned that his image would be severely damaged. However shortly after, he received 83% public approval as satisfactory Russian President.
  21. Putin faced severe criticism from all around the world for not protecting the new independent media, when a journalist named Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead on 7 October 2006, exactly on his birthday. She had exposed corruption in Russian Army.
  22. He helped the Russian economy recover from the 1998 financial crisis and provided an average 7% gain per year from 2001 to 2007. Subsequently it became the seventh largest economy on the basis of purchasing power.
  23. He expanded his export market with Trans-Siberian Oil Pipeline to countries in the Far East and South of Russia. Presently Russia is the major exporter of Oil and Gas to the most of the European countries.
  24. He has been strict with Journalists and media, who question his political point of view, ever since his rise to presidency. “Reporters Without Borders”, a non-profit international organization reported Russia at #148 among 179 countries in context with freedom of Press.
  25. He married Lyudmila Shkrebneva on 28 July 1983 and lived in Germany together until 1990. They have two daughters: Mariya Putina and Yekaterina Putina. He divorced his wife in June 2013.
  26. He became religious when 2 major incidents in his life affected him. He was involved in a very serious car crash with his wife in 1993 and a fire that burnt down his vocational house in 1996.
  27. Sergei Kolesnikov, a businessman informed BBC’s Newsnight in 2012 that he has been assigned to oversee the construction of the big mansion costing US$1 billion is near the Black Sea village Praskoveevka. It is dubbed as “Putin’s Palace”.
  28. He has been accused of indirectly owning offshore companies worth 2 billion US Dollars through his close associates. Three of his close associate’s names were found on the leaked documents of the Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm.
  29. He has always opposed same sex marriage stating that Russia is going through a very low birth rate and same sex relationships will not solve it.
  30. Putin is considered to be most popular among the Russian Jewish community, as Jewish Telegraphic Agency claims that he is seen as a force of stability. Also, the Hasidic FJCR has reportedly become very influential in the Jewish community.

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Vladimir Putin, russian president, President of the Russian Federation

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