Vladimir Putin is a Russian politician and the current President of the Russian Federation. He has been in this post since May 2012. One of the most powerful leaders of the world, Putin has served as the Russian Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012. He has served as the Russian President from 2000 to 2008 and from 2012 to incumbent. He has also been the Chairman of the United Russia Party. One of the most popular leaders of the country, Putin's presidency is known for the rise of the Russian economy. During his first term as President, the Russian economy grew straight for eight years. It was reported in 2014, that he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Putin was born to Maria Shelomova and Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin on 7th October 1952 in Leningrad, Russia. He had two brothers Viktor and Albert. Putin's mother worked in a factory and his father worked as a conscript in the Soviet Navy and during the World War II he served in the destruction battalion of the NKVD. Putin grew up in a communal apartment and started his schooling at School No. 193 at Baskov Lane. At the age of 12, he started to practice judo and sambo and wished to become an intelligence officer. He studied German and had interest in sports. He later studied Law and graduated in 1975 from the Leningrad State University. After graduation, he began his career in the KGB as an Intelligence Officer. He was stationed mainly in East Germany and held the position of Lieutenant Colonel till his retirement in 1990. After retiring, he returned to Russia and held an administrative position at the Leningrad University. Later, after the fall of communism in 1991, he became the adviser to Anatoly Sobchak, a liberal politician and helped Sobchak to get elected as the mayor in the election held later that year. Putin became his head of external relations and then became Sobchaks first deputy mayor in the year 1994. However, he held this position till 1996 and resigned from the post after Sobchak's defeat.
Putin then moved to Moscow where he was appointed as the Head of Management under Boris Yeltsin's presidential administration in 1998. He also took the charge of Kremlin's relations with the regional government. Later he was appointed as the Head of Federal Security Service and also headed the security council of Yeltsin. Later after Yeltsin dismissed the Prime Minister Sergey Stapashin and his cabinet in August 1999, Putin was promoted to his place. In the same year in December, Yeltsin resigned from the post of President of Russia and appointed Putin as the Acting President until the elections. In the elections, Putin promised economic and political reforms and was elected as the President after acquiring 53 percent votes. He continued Russia's military campaign in Chechnya and launched criminal investigation into business dealing of high profile Russians. He was re-elected in the 2004 elections. the major achievements of this term includes the launch of National Priority Projects to improve the health care, education, housing and agriculture of Russia and his visit to Israel for talks with the Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Putin couldn't contest the 2008 elections and was succeeded by Dmitry Medvedev. He was immediately appointed as the Prime Minister and he maintained this post for the next four years. He was again elected as the President in 2012 after acquiring 63.6 percent of votes. Though the opposition raised questions on voting and alleged Putin and his party to be a fraud, it did not prevail. Intervention in Ukraine & annexation of Crimea and Russian Military Intervention in Syria in 2015 are the major highlights of Putin's third term as President. However, during this tenure, Russia experienced a major economic crisis. During the second half of 2014, there was a sharp decline in the Russian ruble due to the decline in the prices of oil.
Putin was married to Lyudmila Shkrebneva and they have two daughters Mariya Putina and Yekatrina Putina. The couple got divorced and Putin announced that their marriage is over in June 2013. Putin is considered as one of the most important and powerful personalities of the world. He was the Time 'Person of The Year' in the year 2007 and in 2015 he was ranked one on the Time's 'Most Influential People' list. He was ranked First in the Forbes list of the 'World's Most Powerful People' in the year 2013, 2014 and 2015. Putin is also known for his adventures and he loves flying military jets, riding horses, driving race cars, scuba diving at archaeological sites.