Sunday, June 7, 2009

Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin


Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born 7 October 1952 in Leningrad, USSR; now Saint Petersburg, Russia was the second President of Russia and is the current Prime Minister of Russia as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when president Boris Yeltsin resigned in a surprising move, and then Putin won the 2000 presidential election. In 2004, he was re-elected for a second term lasting until 7 May 2008.
Due to constitutionally mandated term limits, Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive Presidential term. After the victory of his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, in the 2008 presidential elections, he was then nominated by the latter to be Russia's Prime Minister; Putin took the post on 8 May 2008.

Throughout his presidential terms and into his second term as Prime Minister, Putin has enjoyed high approval ratings amongst the Russian public. During his eight years in office, on the back of Yeltsin-era structural reforms, steadily rising oil price and cheap credit from western banks, Russia's economy bounced back from crisis, seeing GDP increase sixfold (72% in PPP), poverty cut more than half and average monthly salaries increase from $80 to $640, or by 150% in real rates. Analysts have described Putin's economic reforms as impressive. During his presidency, Putin passed into law a series of fundamental reforms, including a flat income tax of 13 percent, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes. Putin's prudent economic policies have received praise from Western economists. At the same time, his conduct in office has been questioned by domestic political opposition, foreign governments and human rights organizations for leading the Second Chechen War, for his record on internal human rights and freedoms, and for his alleged bullying of the former Soviet Republics. A new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy, such as Gennady Timchenko, Vladimir Yakunin, Yuriy Kovalchuk, Sergey Chemezov, with close personal ties to Putin, emerged according to media reports. Corruption under Putin has increased and assumed "systemic and institutionalised form", according to a report by Boris Nemtsov as well as other sources.

Putin joined the KGB in 1975 upon graduation from university, and underwent a year's training at the 401st KGB school in Okhta, Leningrad. He then went on to work briefly in the Second Department (counter-intelligence) before he was transferred to the First Department, where amongst his duties was the monitoring of foreigners and consular officials in Leningrad, while using the cover of being a police officer with the CID. According to Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky, he served at the Fifth Directorate of the KGB, which combated political dissent in the Soviet Union.[35] He then received an offer to transfer to foreign intelligence First Chief Directorate of the KGB and was sent for additional year long training to the Dzerzhinsky KGB Higher School in Moscow and then in the early eighties—the Red Banner Yuri Andropov KGB Institute in Moscow (now the Academy of Foreign Intelligence).
From 1985 to 1990 the KGB stationed Putin in Dresden, East Germany.[36] Following the collapse of the East German regime, Putin was recalled to the Soviet Union and returned to Leningrad, where in June 1991 he assumed a position with the International Affairs section of Leningrad State University, reporting to Vice-Rector Yuriy Molchanov. In his new position, Putin maintained surveillance on the student body and kept an eye out for recruits. It was during his stint at the university that Putin grew reacquainted with Anatoly Sobchak, then mayor of Leningrad. Sobchak served as an Assistant Professor during Putin's university years and was one of Putin's lecturers. Putin formally resigned from the state security services on 20 August 1991, during the KGB-supported abortive putsch against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. (wikipedia - flickr.com - kiwipolemicist.files.wordpress.com - www.penguinsix.com)

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog .. I never thought that you going to write about it:) thanks a lot

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