Saturday 24th of August 2019, 17:42 CET
Short biography of Vladimir Putin
August 24, 2019
1up Info

Posted by HW on August 24, 2019

Law and KGB
After graduating from the Leningrad State University law school in 1975 (he also holds a doctorate in economics), he served in the KGB for 15 years, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. From 1990 to 1996 he held several posts in the Leningrad (from 1991, St. Petersburg) city government. Moving to Moscow and the national government in 1996, he held high staff positions in the Yeltsin administration and in 1998 became head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the KGB's successor.

Popular
Regarded as intelligent, tough, and hard-working, Putin was chosen by Yeltsin to succeed Sergei Stepashin as prime minister in August, 1999. Putin quickly became popular with many Russians for his September invasion of Chechnya in response to terrorism and the invasion of Dagestan by Chechen militants.

Presidency
After parties aligned with Putin won solid support in the Dec., 1999, parliamentary elections, Yeltsin resigned, and Putin became acting president. In the elections of Mar., 2000, Putin bested ten other candidates to become Russia's president.

Authority
Putin moved quickly to reassert the central government's authority over the various republics, regions, and other administrative units and has sought to exert control over elements of the independent media. He also has worked to revamp, and reduce the size of, the military. He won enactment of liberal economic reforms and ratification of international arms agreements, while also renewing ties with former Soviet client states and maintaining Russia's strong opposition to proposed U.S. ballistic missile defenses.

Stabilizing
Although Putin has been, in the main, popular with the Russian public, his reputation suffered when he was perceived to have acted belatedly after the Russian submarine Kursk sank in August, 2000. By the end of his second year in office, however, the Russian president's position had visibly strengthened, as he became apparently successful in stabilizing the government and the economy, the latter achieved in part through banking, labor, and private-property reforms and in part through a fortuitous rise in oil prices (Russia's principal export).

Reforms
Legal reforms gave greater protection to the accused and increased powers to judges, bringing Russian judicial practice more in line with that of the West. In 2001 and 2002, Putin criticized, but accepted, the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM treaty as it proceeded with its development of its missile defense system, while signing a treaty reducing the number of U.S. and Russian nuclear warheads and establishing closer relations with the United States and NATO.
 
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