Is Vladimir Putin an interesting person

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  • Official portrait photo of Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation (2000-2008 and since 2012).

    Photo credit: wikimedia; Vladimir Putin-5 edit.jpg; CC-BY-SA 3.0 DE

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and President of the Russian Federation. The lawyer was recruited as a student by the Soviet secret service KGB and worked as an agent in the GDR from 1985 to 1990. After a career as an official, Putin was appointed head of the Federal Security Service FSB, the successor organization to the KGB, by President Boris Yeltsin in 1998. He then went to the highest political offices in Russia: from 1999 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2012 he was prime minister and from 2000 to 2008 and since May 2012 he was state president. Critics accuse Putin of an authoritarian style of government, disregarding human and self-determination rights and persecuting opposition members.

  • October 7th: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is born in Leningrad (again in St. Petersburg since 1991).

  • Graduated from the Leningrad State University in Law.

  • Service in the international department of the KGB in the science and technology section of the first main department. During this time he worked in Dresden, among other places.

  • Marriage to Lyudmila Schkrebnewa. His two daughters were born in 1985 and 1986.

  • Consultant with Anatoly Sobchak, a law professor and politician in Leningrad.

  • After Sobchak was elected mayor of Saint Petersburg, Putin was appointed chairman of the Municipal Committee for Foreign Relations.

  • Putin becomes First Deputy Mayor of Saint Petersburg.

  • Appointment as Deputy Head of Management of the President of the Russian Federation in Moscow.

  • Promotion to Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration.

    As head of the Central Administration for Control, Putin is responsible for enforcing laws and presidential decrees nationwide.

    Membership in the Commission of the Security Council for Economic Security.

  • May-July: First Deputy Head of Presidential Administration, responsible for work with the regions.

    July 25: Appointment as director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor service to the KGB.

  • March 29: Putin becomes secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

    August 9: Russian President Boris Yeltsin dismisses the chairman of the government, Sergei Stepashin, and names Putin as his executive successor.

    At the same time, he declares Putin his ideal successor in the presidency. Putin then announced his application for the highest office in the state.

    August 16: Putin is confirmed in his office as chairman of the government by a clear vote of the Duma (Russian parliament).

    December 31: With Yeltsin's resignation, Putin takes over the powers of the President of the Russian Federation.

  • March 26: Election for President of the Russian Federation. Putin is continuing the second war begun under Yeltsin against the independence-striving Caucasus region of Chechnya with undiminished severity.

    June: Putin places the Chechen Republic under the direct administration of the government of the Russian Federation by decree.

  • In response to the terrorist attack of September 11th, the Russian Federation is cooperating with the USA and its allies, opening its airspace for the Afghanistan campaign and allowing the establishment of military bases in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The alliance in the fight against international terrorism has reduced the criticism from many states of Russia's approach in Chechnya.

    May 28: Putin signs the "Rome Declaration", which provides for the formation of a NATO-Russia Council.

  • May: The Russian Federation signs a disarmament treaty with the United States that provides for a two-thirds reduction in nuclear weapons by 2012. At the same time, Putin and George W. Bush sign a declaration that provides for cooperation between the countries in the fight against international terrorism and in the energy sector.

  • March: Putin wins the presidential election with 71 percent of the vote and goes into a second term.

  • April: As the first president in Russian history, Putin visits Israel and meets with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Moshe Katzav.

  • May: Putin is replaced by Dimitri Medvedev in the office of Russian President. After Medvedev's inauguration, at his suggestion, Putin is elected Prime Minister with 87.1 percent of the State Duma votes.

    However, critics see Putin as setting the tone.

    August: The conflict between Georgia and the independent republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia escalates. Russia initially supports the republics militarily and recognizes them as sovereign states after a ceasefire. With his aggressive demeanor in the conflict, Putin can further distinguish himself and push President Medvedev into the background.

  • In the course of the global financial and economic crisis, Putin passed an economic stimulus package worth the equivalent of around 67 billion euros, which resulted in a record deficit in the budget.

    The chairman of the Federation Council, formally the third most important man in the state, Sergei Mironov criticized Putin's actions.

    In May 2011, Mironov was released and replaced by Putin confidants.

  • May: Putin calls for the establishment of a new non-partisan alliance under his leadership under the name of the “All-Russian Popular Front”. This is seen as an attempt to expand its power base.

    December 4: Putin's party “United Russia” loses 15 percent in the Duma election compared to the election in 2007. In return, the Communists, the Liberal Democrats and the party “Just Russia” are gaining traction.

    This is followed by a demonstration in Moscow with up to 50,000 participants.

  • March 4: In the presidential elections, Putin prevailed as the candidate of his party “United Russia” with 63.6 percent in the first ballot.

    Putin was able to garner a large number of votes, especially in rural areas, but in urban centers he lost compared to 2004. OSCE election observers also criticize this election for being neither free nor fair.

    May 7: Putin is sworn in as president for another six years. His government consists mostly of loyal followers.

    July: The right of assembly and extremism legislation are tightened.

    October: Putin initiates the takeover of the British-Russian TNK-BP, which has existed since 2003, by the state-owned company Rosneft. With this, Putin has achieved that the Russian energy industry is nationally owned.

  • June: With the support of the Orthodox Church, the Russian government enacts a law against "homosexual propaganda". It criminalizes the "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations against minors". Homosexuals are therefore not allowed to publicly acknowledge their sexuality, e.g. B. also not on the Internet, and the media are not allowed to report positively about homosexuality.

    Sommer: Russia takes in the "whistleblower" and former secret service employee Edward Snowden after he is accused of betraying secrets in the USA.

    November: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych stops an association agreement between his country and the EU under pressure from the Kremlin. This is the starting point of the “Ukraine crisis”.

    December: Putin pardons the former oligarch and CEO of the Yukos oil company, Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky had been in custody since October 2003 for alleged fraud and tax evasion.

    The imprisoned musicians of the Pussy Riot band and Khodorkovsky's former business partner, Platon Lebedew, are also subsequently released.

  • February: The Winter Olympics take place in Sochi, Russia, and Putin himself has been very committed to hosting them. The Games are successful, but are also considered to be the most expensive Olympic Games of all time.

    After three months of mass protests against the head of state Yanukovych in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, he was deposed by parliament and had to flee the city.

    Shortly thereafter, Putin occupies the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

    March 6: After Putin's annexation of Crimea, the EU imposed economic sanctions, initially aimed at Russian private individuals and companies.

    March 16: After an internationally unrecognized referendum, 96 percent of the residents of Crimea vote to join Russia. On March 21, the Russian parliament announced the accession of the island and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation.

    Despite the economic crisis in his own country and foreign policy conflicts, Putin's popularity ratings remain high. In an opinion poll, 80 percent support the president.

    May: After the advance of pro-Russian separatists in the eastern regions of Ukraine and the proclamation of the “People's Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, Putin's government is sharply criticized by Western countries. Moscow rejects allegations that Russia is providing military support to the insurgents.

    Putin continues to drive the formation of a “Eurasian Union” consisting of former Soviet republics. The Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenka and the Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev sign a treaty establishing the “Eurasian Economic Union”, which also provides for military cooperation. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan will also join the Union in 2015.

    Putin travels to Beijing shortly afterwards. There, an agreement will be concluded for gas supplies from the Gazprom Group to China worth US $ 400 billion from 2018.

    June: Since Russia was excluded from the group of former G-8 states in the wake of Western sanctions policy, Putin is no longer at the G-7 summit in Brussels for the first time in 16 years.

    December: On the occasion of a visit to Turkey, Putin announces that the construction of the “South Stream” gas pipeline will be stopped. The pipeline would have supplied gas from Russia to Southeastern and Southern Europe; transit countries would have been Turkey and Bulgaria, for example. Bulgaria had discontinued its cooperation with the Russian energy company Gazprom, which prompted Russia to abandon the project.

    In interviews with the Ukraine conflict, Putin declares himself the “patron of all Russians”. Crimea was an "inseparable part of Russia" and its surrender to Ukraine in 1954 was a "historical mistake".

    In a doctrine signed by Putin, the Ukraine crisis and NATO's eastward expansion are identified as concrete threats to Russia.

  • February 12: After a failed ceasefire, the parties involved in the Ukraine conflict meet in Minsk, Belarus, on the initiative of Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande. Representatives of the two countries sign a package of measures to end the war.

    February 17: Putin travels to Hungary on a state visit and meets Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

    February 27: The Kremlin critic and former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov is shot dead in Moscow at night not far from Red Square. Oppositionists see the government or the FSB as the responsible party.

    Putin himself says the crime is a “shameful tragedy” but also a “political provocation” aimed at destabilizing Russian society.

    March: In a television documentary, Putin openly admits that he was directly responsible for the annexation of Crimea.

    March 18: Putin and the political leader of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia sign an agreement in Moscow that provides for the economic and military annexation of South Ossetia to Russia. A similar agreement has already been concluded with the also breakaway Abkhazia. The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margwelashvili, sharply criticized this step.

    April 8: The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras makes a state visit to Russia and meets with President Putin for talks. Joint economic projects are being negotiated there. Tsipras also opposes the EU's sanctions policy against Russia. However, Moscow is still opposed to lifting the ban on food imports into Russia.

    April 13, 2015: Putin lifts the Russian export ban for an air defense system ordered by Iran after the nuclear agreement concluded shortly beforehand between the UN and Iran.

    April 24, 2015: Putin attends a memorial service for the victims of the Armenian genocide in 1915 in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.

    May 10: One day after the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Germany in World War II, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Moscow. There she and Vladimir Putin commemorate those who died in the war at the tomb of the unknown soldier.


(nc / se / reh / lb) © Foundation House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany
Status: March 8, 2017
Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0

Recommended citation:
Chmura, Nadine / Eimermacher, Stefanie / Haunhorst, Regina / Lepper-Binnewerg, Antoinette: Biography Wladimir Putin, in: LeMO-Biographies, Lebendiges Museum Online, Foundation House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany,
Last visited on 05/24/2021