Russian politician and former intelligence officer Vladimir Putin, who has been serving as the president of Russia since 2012, celebrates his 71st birthday on October 7th, today. Born in Leningrad, Soviet Union, in 1952, Putin is the youngest of three children born to Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin and Maria Ivanovna Putina.
His family history is intertwined with political figures, as his grandfather, Spiridon Putin, served as a personal cook to both Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Putin's father, a conscript in the Soviet Navy, later served in the regular army during World War II, facing severe wounds in 1942 amid the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union.
Educational Pursuits and Multilingual Skills
Putin pursued his education diligently, graduating in law from the Leningrad State University (now Saint Petersburg State University) in 1975. Later, he earned his Ph.D. in economics at the Saint Petersburg Mining University, focusing on strategic planning for the mineral economy in 1997.
His academic journey also involved learning German as a second language during his time at Saint Petersburg High School. Additionally, Putin practiced sambo and judo, showcasing his commitment to physical disciplines.
Career Trajectory and Political Ascension
Putin's career took a significant turn when he joined the KGB in 1975, undergoing training at the 401st KGB School in Leningrad's Okhta. His professional journey led him to various international destinations, including New Zealand and East Germany, during his tenure with the KGB. In 1997, he was appointed as the deputy chief of the Presidential Staff by President Boris Yeltsin and later assumed the role of chief of the Main Control Directorate of the Presidential Property Management Department.
Continuing his ascent, Putin became the First Deputy Chief of the Presidential Staff for the regions in 1998, eventually being appointed acting prime minister of the Government of the Russian Federation by President Yeltsin in 1999. He has since held continuous positions as president or prime minister, serving from 1999 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2012 as prime minister, and from 2000 to 2008 and since 2012 as president.