Vladimir Putin

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Vladimir Putin
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{{pp-move-indef}}{{Redirect|Putin||Putin (surname)}}{{pp-semi|small=yes}}{{Short description|Russian politician, 2nd and 4th President of Russia}}{{Eastern Slavic name|Vladimirovich|Putin}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2019}}

| office7 = Leader of All-Russia People's Front| term_start7 = 12 June 2013| term_end7 =| predecessor7 = Office establishedPresident of the Council of Ministers#Countries currently using the title>Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union StateGeneral Secretary}}| 1namedata8 = Pavel Borodin| term_start8 = 27 May 2008| term_end8 = 18 July 2012| predecessor8 = Viktor Zubkov| successor8 = Dmitry Medvedev| office9 = Leader of United Russia| term_start9 = 7 May 2008| term_end9 = 26 May 2012| predecessor9 = Boris Gryzlov| successor9 = Dmitry Medvedev{{Collapsed infobox section end}}All-Russia People's Front>People's Front (2011–present)Independent (1991–95; 2001–08; 2012–present)Communist Party of the Soviet Union>CPSU (1975–91)Our Home – Russia (1995–99)Unity (Russian political party) (1999–2001)United RussiaHTTPS://WWW.TELEGRAPH.CO.UK/NEWS/WORLDNEWS/VLADIMIR-PUTIN/9223621/VLADIMIR-PUTIN-QUITS-AS-HEAD-OF-RUSSIAS-RULING-PARTY.HTMLDATE=24 APRIL 2012, The Daily Telegraph, (2008–12)| birth_name = Vladimir Vladimirovich Putindf=y10|7}}Saint Petersburg>Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union(now Saint Petersburg, Russia)Lyudmila Putina>28 July 1983reason=divorced}}Maria Vorontsova>Katerina}}| residence = Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow, RussiaSaint Petersburg State University (LLB)Saint Petersburg Mining Institute (Candidate of Sciences>PhD)| signature = Putin signature.svgweblink}}Soviet Union|size=23px}}| branch = KGB| serviceyears = 1975–199134px) Polkovnik of the KGBHTTPS://WWW.EG.RU/POLITICS/395382/ PUBLISHER=Экспресс-газета (EXPRESS GAZETA) DATE=7 OCTOBER 2017 34px) Actual state adviser of the Russian Federation 1 class23pxalt=Order of Honor of the Russian Federation) Order of Honour}}Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|p|uː|t|ɪ|n}}; {{IPA-ru|vɫɐˈdʲimʲɪr vɫɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ ˈputʲɪn|Vladimir_Vladimirovich_Putin.ogg}}; born 7 October 1952) is the President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 2000 until 2008.{{Efn|Took Prime Minister office in August, became Acting President while remaining a Prime Minister on 31 December 1999, officially elected as President on 7 May 2000.}}WEB, Kremlin Biography of President Vladimir Putin,weblink 18 October 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 18 April 2015, dead, WEB,weblink Vladimir Putin – President of Russia, 22 March 2017,, 22 March 2017, WEB, President Vladimir Putin on,weblink 1 July 2016, In between his presidential terms, he was also the Prime Minister of Russia under president Dmitry Medvedev.Putin was born in Leningrad and studied Law at Leningrad State University, graduating in 1975.NEWS,weblink The Washington Post, 30 January 2000, Putin's Career Rooted in Russia's KGB, David, Hoffman, Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before resigning in 1991 to enter politics in Saint Petersburg. He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin's administration where he served as director of the FSB, the KGB's successor agency, and then as prime minister. He became Acting President on 31 December 1999, when Yeltsin resigned.During his first presidency, the Russian economy grew for eight straight years, and GDP measured in purchasing power increased by 72%.BOOK, Anders Åslund, Sergei Guriev, Andrew C. Kuchins, Russia After the Global Economic Crisis, Challenges Facing the Russian Economy after the Crisis, Guriev, Sergei, Tsyvinski, Aleh, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Centre for Strategic and International Studies; New Economic School, 2010, 978-0881324976, 12–13, GDP of Russia from 1992 to 2007 International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 12 May 2008 The growth was a result of the 2000s commodities boom, recovery from the post-Communist depression and financial crises, and prudent economic and fiscal policies.Putin: Russia's Choice, (Routledge 2007), by Richard Sakwa, Chapter 9Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin, Yale University Press (2013), by Ben Judah, page 17 In September 2011, Putin announced he would seek a third term as president. He won the March 2012 presidential election with 64% of the vote.Shuster, Simon. "In Russia, an Election Victory for Putin and Then a 'Paid Flash Mob'", Time (5 March 2012). Falling oil prices coupled with international sanctions imposed at the beginning of 2014 after Russia's annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Eastern Ukraine led to GDP shrinking by 3.7% in 2015, though the Russian economy rebounded in 2016 with 0.3% GDP growth and the recession officially ended.NEWS, Thompson, Mark, Russia: One of 10 worst economies in 2015,weblink CNN, 26 January 2016, NEWS,weblink Russian economy in turmoil as Putin is battered by falling oil price and sanctions, 25 January 2016, The Daily Telegraph, 9 April 2016, Spence, Peter, NEWS, Russian Economy Crawled to Growth With Recession in Rearview,weblink Bloomberg, 31 March 2017, NEWS, It's Official: Sanctioned Russia Now Recession Free,weblink Forbes, 3 April 2017, Putin gained 76% of the March 2018 presidential vote and was re-elected for a six-year term that will end in 2024.NEWS,weblink Russia's Putin wins by big margin, 18 March 2018, BBC News, 18 March 2018, Under Putin's leadership, Russia has experienced democratic backsliding. Experts do not generally consider Russia to be a democracy, citing purges and jailing of political opponents, curtailed press freedom, and the lack of free and fair elections.JOURNAL, Diamond, Larry, 7 January 2015, Facing Up to the Democratic Recession, Journal of Democracy, 26, 1, 141–155, 10.1353/jod.2015.0009, 1086-3214, BOOK,weblink Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War, Levitsky, Steven, Way, Lucan A., 2010, Cambridge University Press, 978-1139491488, en, WEB,weblink Building authoritarian polity russia post soviet times {{!, Russian and east European government, politics and policy|website=Cambridge University Press|language=en|access-date=24 July 2018}}BOOK,weblink The Origins of Dominant Parties, Reuter, Ora John, 2017, Cambridge University Press, 978-1316761649, Cambridge, en, 10.1017/9781316761649, WEB,weblink Authoritarian Modernization in Russia: Ideas, Institutions, and Policies,, en, 24 July 2018, Russia has scored poorly in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index and Freedom House's Freedom in the World index (including a record low 20/100 rating in the 2017 Freedom in the World report, a rating not given since the time of the Soviet Union). Human rights organizations and activists have accused Putin of persecuting political critics and activists, as well as ordering them tortured or assassinated; he has rejected accusations of human rights abuses.WEB,weblink 23 March 2017, Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways, The Washington Post, Officials of the United States government have accused him of leading an interference program against Hillary Clinton in support of Donald Trump during the U.S. presidential election in 2016, an allegation which both Trump and Putin have frequently denied and criticized.WEB,weblink 2 June 2017, Putin says claims of Russian meddling in U.S. election are 'just some kind of hysteria', Los Angeles Times, NEWS, Kiely, Eugene, Gore, D'Angelo, In His Own Words: Trump on Russian Meddling,weblink, 19 February 2018, NEWS, Greenberg, Don, Donald Trump falsely says he never denied Russian meddling,weblink 6 April 2018, Politifact, 19 February 2018, {{TOC limit|limit=3}}

Early life

{{multiple image| align = left| direction =| width = 130| footer = Putin's parents, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin and Maria Ivanovna Putina (née Shelomova)| image1 = Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin.jpg| caption1 =| image2 = Maria Ivanovna Shelomova.jpg| caption2 =}}Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on 7 October 1952 in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg),WEB, When Was St. Petersburg Known as Petrograd and Leningrad?,weblink, Matt, Rosenberg, 12 August 2016, 16 September 2016, WEB, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation – Biography,weblink 14 May 2010, 31 July 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 14 May 2010, dead, the youngest of three children of Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin (1911–1999) and Maria Ivanovna Putina ({{née}} Shelomova; 1911–1998). Vladimir Spiridonovich's father was cook to Vladimir Lenin.{{citation |last= Sebestyen |first= Victor |title= Lenin the Dictator |publisher= Weidenfeld & Nicolson |place= London |year= 2018 |page= 422 |ISBN= 9781474601054}} Putin's birth was preceded by the deaths of two brothers, Viktor and Albert, born in the mid-1930s. Albert died in infancy and Viktor died of diphtheria during the Siege of Leningrad in World War II.NEWS, Pukas, Anna, Is Vladimir Putin mad or just bad?,weblink Sunday Express, 22 July 2014, Putin's mother was a factory worker and his father was a conscript in the Soviet Navy, serving in the submarine fleet in the early 1930s. Early in World War II, his father served in the destruction battalion of the NKVD.BOOK, First Person, Vladimir Putin, Nataliya Gevorkyan, Natalya Timakova, Andrei Kolesnikov, trans. Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, 2000, PublicAffairs, 208, 978-1-58648-018-9, registration,weblink First Person An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President Vladimir Putin The New York Times, 2000Putin's Obscure Path From KGB to Kremlin Los Angeles Times, 19 March 2000 Later, he was transferred to the regular army and was severely wounded in 1942.{{harv |Sakwa |2008 |p=3}} Putin's maternal grandmother was killed by the German occupiers of Tver region in 1941, and his maternal uncles disappeared at the war front.Sakwa, Richard. Putin Redux: Power and Contradiction in Contemporary Russia (2014), p. 2.On 1 September 1960, Putin started at School No. 193 at Baskov Lane, near his home. He was one of a few in the class of approximately 45 pupils who was not yet a member of the Young Pioneer organization. At age 12, he began to practice sambo and judo. He is a Judo black belt and national master of sports in Sambo. He wished to emulate the intelligence officers portrayed in Soviet cinema.WEB,weblink Prime Minister,, 24 September 2011, Putin studied German at Saint Petersburg High School 281 and speaks German fluently.NEWS,weblink Putin Dazzles With German Language Skills, RT, Russia, 8 April 2016, 16 April 2016, NEWS,weblink In Tel Aviv, Putin's German Teacher Recalls 'Disciplined' Student, Haaretz, 26 March 2014, 16 April 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 November 2015, Putin studied Law at the Leningrad State University (now Saint Petersburg State University) in 1970 and graduated in 1975. His thesis was on "The Most Favored Nation Trading Principle in International Law".Lynch, Allen. Vladimir Putin and Russian Statecraft, p. 15 (Potomac Books 2011). While there, he was required to join the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and remained a member until December 1991.Владимир Путин. От Первого Лица. Chapter 6 {{Webarchive |url= |date=30 June 2009}} Putin met Anatoly Sobchak, an assistant professor who taught business law,{{Efn|.}} was co-author of the Russian constitution, and who would be influential in Putin's career.BOOK, Pribylovsky, Vladimir, ru:Власть-2010 (60 биографий), 2010, Panorama, 978-5-94420-038-9, 132–139,weblink Vladimir Pribylovsky, Moscow, Russian, Valdimir Putin,

KGB career

File:Vladimir Putin in KGB uniform.jpg|thumb|upright|left|115px|Putin in KGBKGBIn 1975, Putin joined the KGB and trained at the 401st KGB school in Okhta, Leningrad.WEB,weblink Vladimir Putin as a Spy Working Undercover from 1983, 30 June 1983, YouTube, 8 April 2017, After training, he worked in the Second Chief Directorate (counter-intelligence), before he was transferred to the First Chief Directorate, where he monitored foreigners and consular officials in Leningrad.{{harv|Sakwa|2008|pp=8–9}}NEWS, David, Hoffman,weblink Putin's Career Rooted in Russia's KGB, The Washington Post, 30 January 2000, In September 1984, Putin was sent to Moscow for further training at the Yuri Andropov Red Banner Institute.BOOK, Chris Hutchins, Putin,weblink 2012, Troubador Publishing Ltd, 978-1-78088-114-0, 40, But these were the honeymoon days and she was already expecting their first child when he was sent to Moscow for further training at the Yuri Andropov Red Banner Institute in September 1984 [...] At Red Banner students were given a nom de guerre beginning with the same letter as their surname. Thus Comrade Putin became Comrade Platov., BOOK, Andrew Jack, Inside Putin's Russia: Can There Be Reform without Democracy?,weblink 2005, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-029336-9, 66, He returned to work in Leningrad's First Department for intelligence for four and a half years, and then attended the elite Andropov Red Banner Institute for intelligence training before his posting to the German Democratic Republic in 1985., BOOK, Vladimir Putin, Nataliya Gevorkyan, Natalya Timakova, Andrei Kolesnikov, First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President Vladimir Putin,weblink 2000, Public Affairs, 978-0-7867-2327-0, 53, I worked there for about four and a half years, and then I went to Moscow for training at the Andropov Red Banner Institute, which is now the Academy of Foreign Intelligence., From 1985 to 1990 he served in Dresden, East Germany,WEB,weblink Putin set to visit Dresden, the place of his work as a KGB spy, to tend relations with Germany, International Herald Tribune, 9 October 2006, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 March 2009, using a cover identity as a translator.BOOK, Gessen, Masha, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, 2012, Riverhead, New York, 978-1594488429,weblink 1st, 3 March 2014, 60, Masha Gessen, a Russian-American who has authored a biography about Putin, claims "Putin and his colleagues were reduced mainly to collecting press clippings, thus contributing to the mountains of useless information produced by the KGB". According to Putin's official biography, during the fall of the Berlin Wall that began on 9 November 1989, he burned KGB files to prevent demonstrators from obtaining them.NEWS,weblink Vladimir Putin, The Imperialist, Time (magazine), Time, 11 December 2014, 10 December 2014, After the collapse of the Communist East German government, Putin returned to Leningrad in early 1990, where he worked for about three months with the International Affairs section of Leningrad State University, reporting to Vice-Rector Yuriy Molchanov. There, he looked for new KGB recruits, watched the student body, and renewed his friendship with his former professor, Anatoly Sobchak, soon to be the Mayor of Leningrad.BOOK, Sakwa, Richard, Putin : Russia's Choice, 2007, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, 978-0415407656,weblink 2nd, 11 June 2012, 10, Putin claims that he resigned with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on 20 August 1991, on the second day of the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt against the Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.R. Sakwa Putin: Russia's Choice, pp. 10–11 Putin said: "As soon as the coup began, I immediately decided which side I was on", although he also noted that the choice was hard because he had spent the best part of his life with "the organs".R. Sakwa Putin: Russia's Choice, p. 11In 1999, Putin described communism as "a blind alley, far away from the mainstream of civilization".JOURNAL, Remick, David, David Remnick, Watching the Eclipse,weblink The New Yorker, 11 August 2014, 3 August 2014,

Political career

1990–1996: Saint Petersburg administration

File:Vladimir Putin 24 February 2000-2.jpg|thumb|Vladimir Putin, Lyudmila Narusova and Ksenia Sobchak at the funeral of Putin's former mentorNewsweek, "Russia's Mighty Mouse", 25 February 2008. Anatoly SobchakAnatoly SobchakIn May 1990, Putin was appointed as an advisor on international affairs to the Mayor of Leningrad Anatoly Sobchak. In a 2017 interview with Oliver Stone, Putin said that he resigned from the KGB in 1991, following the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, as he did not agree with what had happened and did not want to be part of the intelligence in the new administration. He described this in The Putin Interviews.WEB, Stone, Oliver, The Putin Interviews (Party 2 – 2:10),weblink, Showtime, 12 November 2018, On 28 June 1991, he became head of the Committee for External Relations of the Mayor's Office, with responsibility for promoting international relations and foreign investmentsWEB,weblink Archived copy, 21 February 2007, unfit,weblink" title="">weblink 21 February 2007, and registering business ventures. Within a year, Putin was investigated by the city legislative council led by Marina Salye. It was concluded that he had understated prices and permitted the export of metals valued at $93 million in exchange for foreign food aid that never arrived.WEB,weblink Uproar at Honor For Putin, Kovalev, Vladimir, 23 July 2004, The Saint Petersburg Times, 14 April 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 20 March 2015, dead, NEWS,weblink Putin's Career Rooted in Russia's KGB, Hoffman, David, 30 January 2000, The Washington Post, Despite the investigators' recommendation that Putin be fired, Putin remained head of the Committee for External Relations until 1996.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 27 September 2007, unfit,weblink" title="">weblink 27 September 2007, by Catherine BeltonWalsh, Nick Paton (29 February 2004). "The Man Who Wasn't There". The Observer. From 1994 to 1996, he held several other political and governmental positions in Saint Petersburg.WEB,weblink ru:Владимир Путин: от ассистента Собчака до и.о. премьера, GAZETA.RU, Russian, In March 1994, Putin was appointed as First Deputy Chairman of the Government of Saint Petersburg. In May 1995, he organized the Saint Petersburg branch of the pro-government Our Home – Russia political party, the liberal party of power founded by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. In 1995, he managed the legislative election campaign for that party, and from 1995 through June 1997, he was the leader of its Saint Petersburg branch.

1996–1999: Early Moscow career

In June 1996, Sobchak lost his bid for reelection in Saint Petersburg, so Putin moved to Moscow and was appointed as Deputy Chief of the {{ill|Presidential Property Management Department|ru|Управление делами Президента Российской Федерации|vertical-align=sup}} headed by Pavel Borodin. He occupied this position until March 1997. During his tenure, Putin was responsible for the foreign property of the state and organized the transfer of the former assets of the Soviet Union and Communist Party to the Russian Federation.File:RIAN archive 100306 Vladimir Putin, Federal Security Service Director.jpg|thumb|upright|Putin as FSB director, 1998]]On 26 March 1997, President Boris Yeltsin appointed Putin deputy chief of Presidential Staff, which he remained until May 1998, and chief of the Main Control Directorate of the Presidential Property Management Department (until June 1998). His predecessor on this position was Alexei Kudrin and the successor was Nikolai Patrushev, both future prominent politicians and Putin's associates.On 27 June 1997, at the Saint Petersburg Mining Institute, guided by rector Vladimir Litvinenko, Putin defended his Candidate of Science dissertation in economics, titled "The Strategic Planning of Regional Resources Under the Formation of Market Relations".WEB,weblink ПУТИН â€“ КАНДИДАТ НАУК, 24 May 2000,, Russian, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 August 2013, This exemplified the custom in Russia for a rising young official to write a scholarly work in mid-career.Gustafson, Thane. Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Power in Russia, p. 246 (Harvard University Press, 2012). When Putin later became president, the dissertation became a target of plagiarism accusations by fellows at the Brookings Institution; although the dissertation was referenced,WEB,weblink It All Boils Down to Plagiarism,, 31 March 2006, 2 March 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 August 2009, NEWS,weblink The President as Candidate, Maxim Shishkin, Dmitry Butrin; Mikhail Shevchuk, Kommersant, 30 March 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 May 2011, the Brookings fellows asserted that it constituted plagiarism albeit perhaps unintentional. The dissertation committee denied the accusations.WEB,weblink 24 March 2006, Researchers peg Putin as plagiarist over thesis, The Washington Times, 5 March 2014, On 25 May 1998, Putin was appointed First Deputy Chief of Presidential Staff for regions, replacing Viktoriya Mitina; and, on 15 July, he was appointed head of the commission for the preparation of agreements on the delimitation of power of regions and the federal center attached to the president, replacing Sergey Shakhray. After Putin's appointment, the commission completed no such agreements, although during Shakhray's term as the Head of the Commission 46 agreements were signed.The Half-Decay Products (in Russian) by Oleg Odnokolenko. Itogi, #47(545), 2 January 2007. Later, after becoming president, Putin canceled all those agreements.On 25 July 1998, Yeltsin appointed Putin as Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the primary intelligence and security organization of the Russian Federation and the successor to the KGB.BOOK, Rosefielde, Steven, Steven Rosefielde, Hedlund, Stefan, Stefan Hedlund, Russia Since 1980,weblink 21 May 2017, 2009, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-84913-5, 139,

1999: First premiership

On 9 August 1999, Putin was appointed one of three First Deputy Prime Ministers, and later on that day, was appointed acting Prime Minister of the Government of the Russian Federation by President Yeltsin.NEWS,weblink Text of Yeltsin's speech in English, 31 May 2007, 9 August 1999, BBC News, Yeltsin also announced that he wanted to see Putin as his successor. Later on that same day, Putin agreed to run for the presidency.Yeltsin redraws political map BBC, 10 August 1999On 16 August, the State Duma approved his appointment as Prime Minister with 233 votes in favor (vs. 84 against, 17 abstained),NEWS,weblink Yeltsin's man wins approval, BBC News, 16 August 1999, 22 June 2013, while a simple majority of 226 was required, making him Russia's fifth PM in fewer than eighteen months. On his appointment, few expected Putin, virtually unknown to the general public, to last any longer than his predecessors. He was initially regarded as a Yeltsin loyalist; like other prime ministers of Boris Yeltsin, Putin did not choose ministers himself, his cabinet was determined by the presidential administration.Richard Sakwa Putin: Russia's choice, 2008. p. 20.Yeltsin's main opponents and would-be successors were already campaigning to replace the ailing president, and they fought hard to prevent Putin's emergence as a potential successor. Following the Russian apartment bombings, Putin's law-and-order image and unrelenting approach to the Second Chechen War against the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria soon combined to raise his popularity and allowed him to overtake his rivals.While not formally associated with any party, Putin pledged his support to the newly formed Unity Party,WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2 July 2001, unfit,weblink" title="">weblink 2 July 2001, Norsk Utenrikspolitisk Institutt which won the second largest percentage of the popular vote (23.3%) in the December 1999 Duma elections, and in turn supported Putin.

1999–2000: Acting presidency

(File:Vladimir Putin 31 December 1999-3.jpg|thumb|upright|Putin in 1999)On 31 December 1999, Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned and, according to the Constitution of Russia, Putin became Acting President of the Russian Federation. On assuming this role, Putin went on a previously scheduled visit to Russian troops in Chechnya.NEWS, Russia: Putin Travels To Chechnya To Visit Troops,weblink Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 3 March 2000, The first Presidential Decree that Putin signed, on 31 December 1999, was titled "On guarantees for former president of the Russian Federation and members of his family".УКАЗ от 31 декабря 1999 г. № 1763 О ГАРАНТИЯХ ПРЕЗИДЕНТУ РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ, ПРЕКРАТИВШЕМУ ИСПОЛНЕНИЕ СВОИХ ПОЛНОМОЧИЙ, И ЧЛЕНАМ ЕГО СЕМЬИ. Rossiyskaya GazetaWEB, Александр Колесниченко,weblink "Развращение" первого лица. Госдума не решилась покуситься на неприкосновенность экс-президента,, 22 June 2013, This ensured that "corruption charges against the outgoing President and his relatives" would not be pursued.Ignatius, Adi. Person of the Year 2007: A Tsar Is Born, Time, page 4 (19 December 2007). Retrieved 19 November 2009. This was most notably targeted at the Mabetex bribery case in which Yeltsin's family members were involved. On 30 August 2000, a criminal investigation (number 18/238278-95) was dropped in which Putin himself was one of the suspectsWEB,weblink ДЕЛО ПУТИНА, Novaya Gazeta, 20–23 March 2000, 19 March 2016, WEB,weblink Компромат.Ru / Compromat.Ru: Фигунанты по квартирному делу,, 19 March 2016, as a member of the Saint Petersburg city government. On 30 December 2000, yet another case against the prosecutor general was dropped "for lack of evidence", in spite of thousands of documents passed by Swiss prosecution.BOOK,weblink Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?, Dawisha, Karen, 2015, Simon and Schuster, 978-1476795201, en, On 12 February 2001, Putin signed a similar federal law which replaced the decree of 1999. A case regarding Putin's alleged corruption in metal exports from 1992 was brought back by Marina Salye, but she was silenced and forced to leave Saint Petersburg.WEB,weblink Почему Марина Салье молчала о Путине 10 лет?, Radio Svoboda, 19 March 2016, While his opponents had been preparing for an election in June 2000, Yeltsin's resignation resulted in the presidential elections being held within three months, on 26 March 2000; Putin won in the first round with 53% of the vote.WEB,weblink История президентских выборов в России, РИА Новости, 25 November 2015,

2000–2004: First presidential term

File:Putin and Yeltsin cropped.jpg|thumb|left|Putin taking the presidential oath beside Boris YeltsinBoris YeltsinThe inauguration of President Putin occurred on 7 May 2000. Putin appointed the Minister of Finance, Mikhail Kasyanov, as the Prime Minister.The first major challenge to Putin's popularity came in August 2000, when he was criticized for the alleged mishandling of the Kursk submarine disaster.Spectre of Kursk haunts Putin, BBC News, 12 August 2001 That criticism was largely because it was several days before Putin returned from vacation, and several more before he visited the scene.Between 2000 and 2004, Putin set about the reconstruction of the impoverished condition of the country, apparently winning a power-struggle with the Russian oligarchs, reaching a 'grand bargain' with them. This bargain allowed the oligarchs to maintain most of their powers, in exchange for their explicit support for—and alignment with—Putin's government.Putin: Russia's Choice, By Richard Sakwa, (Routledge, 2008) page 143-150Playing Russian Roulette: Putin in search of good governance, by Andre Mommen, in Good Governance in the Era of Global Neoliberalism: Conflict and Depolitisation in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, By Jolle Demmers, Alex E. Fernández Jilberto, Barbara Hogenboom (Routledge, 2004)In 2003, a referendum was held in Chechnya, adopting a new constitution which declares that the Republic of Chechnya is a part of Russia; on the other hand, the region did acquire autonomy.NEWS,weblink Regions and territories: Chechnya, 9 April 2016, Chechnya has been gradually stabilized with the establishment of the Parliamentary elections and a Regional Government.NEWS,weblink Can Grozny be groovy?, The Independent, 6 March 2007, 28 March 2007,weblink" title="">weblink London, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 21 November 2006, Human Rights Watch Reports, on human rights abuses in Chechnya, Human Rights Watch, 22 June 2013, Throughout the Second Chechen War, Russia severely disabled the Chechen rebel movement; however, sporadic attacks by rebels continued to occur throughout the northern Caucasus.WEB,weblink The World Factbook, 25 November 2015,

2004–2008: Second presidential term

File:Victory Day Parade 2005-26.jpg|thumb|Vladimir Putin with Junichiro Koizumi, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schröder, Silvio Berlusconi, George W. BushGeorge W. BushOn 14 March 2004, Putin was elected to the presidency for a second term, receiving 71% of the vote. The Beslan school hostage crisis took place in September 2004, in which hundreds died. Many in the Russian press and in the international media warned that the deaths of 130 hostages in the special forces' rescue operation during the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis would severely damage President Putin's popularity. However, shortly after the siege had ended, the Russian president enjoyed record public approval ratings – 83% of Russians declared themselves satisfied with Putin and his handling of the siege.Moscow siege leaves dark memories, BBC News, 16 December 2002The near 10-year period prior to the rise of Putin after the dissolution of Soviet rule was a time of upheaval in Russia.NEWS, On this Day December 25: Gorbachev resigns as Soviet Union breaks up,weblink 23 December 2016, BBC News, In a 2005 Kremlin speech, Putin characterized the collapse of the Soviet Union as the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the Twentieth Century."NEWS, Putin deplores collapse of USSR,weblink 23 December 2016, BBC News, 25 April 2005, Putin elaborated "Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself."JOURNAL, Gold, Martin, Understanding the Russian Move into Ukraine, The National Law Review, 16 September 2015,weblink 23 December 2016, The country's cradle-to-grave social safety net was gone and life expectancy declined in the period preceding Putin's rule.NEWS, Krainova, N., Life Expectancy in Russia Is Stagnant, Study Says,weblink 23 December 2016, The Moscow Times, 5 March 2013, In 2005, the National Priority Projects were launched to improve Russia's health care, education, housing and agriculture.JOURNAL, BOFIT Online,weblink The challenges of the Medvedev era, 24 June 2008, 24 September 2011, 1456-811X, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 March 2012, WEB,weblink BBC Russian – Россия – Путин очертил "дорожную карту" третьего срока, BBC, 25 November 2015, File:Vladimir Putin 8 March 2008-3.jpg|thumb|left|Putin with Chancellor of Germany Angela MerkelAngela MerkelThe continued criminal prosecution of Russia's then richest man, President of Yukos oil and gas company Mikhail Khodorkovsky, for fraud and tax evasion was seen by the international press as a retaliation for Khodorkovsky's donations to both liberal and communist opponents of the Kremlin.{{citation needed|date=April 2016}} The government said that Khodorkovsky was "corrupting" a large segment of the Duma to prevent changes to the tax code.{{citation needed|date=April 2016}} Khodorkovsky was arrested, Yukos was bankrupted and the company's assets were auctioned at below-market value, with the largest share acquired by the state company Rosneft.How to Steal Legally The Moscow Times, 15 February 2008 (issue 3843, page 8). The fate of Yukos was seen as a sign of a broader shift of Russia towards a system of state capitalism.Putin’s Gamble. Where Russia is headed by Nikolas Gvosdev,, 5 November 2003. {{webarchive |url= |date=28 December 2008 }}Putin's Kremlin Asserting More Control of Economy. Yukos Case Reflects Shift on Owning Assets, Notably in Energy by Peter Baker, The Washington Post, 9 July 2004. This was underscored in July 2014 when shareholders of Yukos were awarded $50 billion in compensation by the Permanent Arbitration Court in The Hague.NEWS, Hague court awards $50 bn compensation to Yukos shareholders,weblink 29 July 2014, Russia Herald,weblink" title="">weblink 30 July 2014, dead, On 7 October 2006, Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist who exposed corruption in the Russian army and its conduct in Chechnya, was shot in the lobby of her apartment building, on Putin's birthday. The death of Politkovskaya triggered international criticism, with accusations that Putin had failed to protect the country's new independent media.NEWS,weblink Putin's Russia failed to protect this brave woman – Joan Smith, The Independent, 9 October 2006, 22 June 2013, London, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 7 December 2008, WEB,weblink Anna Politkovskaya, Prominent Russian Journalist, Putin Critic and Human Rights Activist, Murdered in Moscow, Democracy Now, 9 October 2006, dead,weblink 10 October 2006, Putin himself said that her death caused the government more problems than her writings.NEWS, Andrey, Kolesnikov, Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel Work Together, Kommersant,weblink 11 October 2006, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 September 2007, File:Funeral of Boris Yeltsin-23.jpg|thumb|Putin, Bill Clinton and George H. W. BushGeorge H. W. BushIn 2007, "Dissenters' Marches" were organized by the opposition group The Other Russia,NEWS, Lee, Steven,weblink Kasparov, Building Opposition to Putin, Russia, The New York Times, 10 March 2007, 2 March 2010, led by former chess champion Garry Kasparov and national-Bolshevist leader Eduard Limonov. Following prior warnings, demonstrations in several Russian cities were met by police action, which included interfering with the travel of the protesters and the arrests of as many as 150 people who attempted to break through police lines.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Garry Kasparov jailed over rally, 24 November 2007, 9 April 2010, On 12 September 2007, Putin dissolved the government upon the request of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Fradkov commented that it was to give the President a "free hand" in the run-up to the parliamentary election. Viktor Zubkov was appointed the new prime minister.NEWS,weblink Putin Dissolves Government, Nominates Viktor Zubkov as New Prime Minister, Fox News Channel, 12 September 2007, 2 March 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 17 September 2012, dead, In December 2007, United Russia won 64.24% of the popular vote in their run for State Duma according to election preliminary results.weblink" title="">Election Preliminary Results for United Russia, 4 December 2007, United Russia's victory in the December 2007 elections was seen by many as an indication of strong popular support of the then Russian leadership and its policies.Russians Voted In Favour of Putin {{webarchive|url= |date=11 May 2011 }}, 4 December 2007, IzvestiaAssenters' March {{webarchive|url= |date=11 May 2011 }}, 3 December 2007, Izvestia

2008–2012: Second premiership

Putin was barred from a third consecutive term by the Constitution. First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was elected his successor. In a power-switching operation on 8 May 2008, only a day after handing the presidency to Medvedev, Putin was appointed Prime Minister of Russia, maintaining his political dominance.NEWS,weblink Putin Is Approved as Prime Minister, 9 May 2008, The New York Times, File:Vladimir Putin 11 March 2008-1.jpg|thumb|Putin with Dmitry MedvedevDmitry MedvedevPutin has said that overcoming the consequences of the world economic crisis was one of the two main achievements of his second Premiership. The other was the stabilizing the size of Russia's population between 2008 and 2011 following a long period of demographic collapse that began in the 1990s.At the United Russia Congress in Moscow on 24 September 2011, Medvedev officially proposed that Putin stand for the Presidency in 2012, an offer Putin accepted. Given United Russia's near-total dominance of Russian politics, many observers believed that Putin was assured of a third term. The move was expected to see Medvedev stand on the United Russia ticket in the parliamentary elections in December, with a goal of becoming Prime Minister at the end of his presidential term.NEWS,weblink Russia's Putin set to return as president in 2012, 24 September 2011, 24 September 2011, BBC News, After the parliamentary elections on 4 December 2011, tens of thousands of Russians engaged in protests against alleged electoral fraud, the largest protests in Putin's time. Protesters criticized Putin and United Russia and demanded annulment of the election results.Russian election protests – follow live updates, The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2011 Those protests sparked the fear of a colour revolution in society.Как митинг на Поклонной собрал около 140 000 человек {{ru icon}}NEWS,weblink 'We Won in Fair and Open Fight' – Putin, Sputnik, 4 March 2012, RIA Novosti, 25 November 2015, NEWS,weblink Putin Supporters Fill Moscow Stadium, Sputnik, 23 February 2012, RIA Novosti, 25 November 2015, Putin allegedly organized a number of paramilitary groups loyal to himself and to the United Russia party in the period between 2005 and 2012.{{Citation|last=Frum|first=David|title=What Putin Wants|journal=The Atlantic|volume=313|issue=5|pages=46–48|date=June 2014}}

2012–2018: Third presidential term

On 24 September 2011, while speaking at the United Russia party congress, Medvedev announced that he would recommend the party nominate Putin as its presidential candidate. He also revealed that the two men had long ago cut a deal to allow Putin to run for president in 2012.NEWS, Vladimir Putin on course to be Russia's next president as Dmitry Medvedev steps aside, Andrew, Osborn,weblink The Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2011, 25 September 2011, This switch was termed by many in the media as "Rokirovka", the Russian term for the chess move "castling". Medvedev said he himself would be ready to perform "practical work in the government".NEWS, Medvedev backs Putin for Russian president,weblink RIA Novosti, 24 September 2011, 25 September 2011, On 4 March 2012, Putin won the 2012 Russian presidential elections in the first round, with 63.6% of the vote, despite widespread accusations of vote-rigging.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Putin won 'rigged elections', 11 September 2000, WEB, ru:Выборы Президента Российской Федерации 2012,weblink, Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, 10 June 2015, ru, Opposition groups accused Putin and the United Russia party of fraud.NEWS,weblink Putin Hails Vote Victory, Opponents Cry Foul, RIA Novosti, 22 June 2013, NEWS,weblink Russian election: does the data suggest Putin won through fraud?, James Ball (journalist), James Ball, The Guardian, 9 April 2016, While efforts to make the elections transparent were publicized, including the usage of webcams in polling stations, the vote was criticized by the Russian opposition and by international observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for procedural irregularities.WEB, Russia's presidential election marked by unequal campaign conditions, active citizens' engagement, international observers say,weblink Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, File:Moscow rally 4 February 2012, Yakimanka Street, Bolotnaya Square 26.JPG|thumb|left|Anti-Putin protesters march in Moscow, 4 February 2012]]Anti-Putin protests took place during and directly after the presidential campaign. The most notorious protest was the Pussy Riot performance on 21 February, and subsequent trial.NEWS,weblink The Guardian, Miriam, Elder, Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in prison colony over anti-Putin protest, 17 August 2012, London, An estimated 8,000–20,000 protesters gathered in Moscow on 6 May,Провокация вместо марша vz.ruNEWS,weblink Russian police battle anti-Putin protesters, Reuters, 7 May 2012, 6 May 2012, when eighty people were injured in confrontations with police,WEB,weblink СК пересчитал пострадавших полицейских во время "Марша миллионов",, 25 November 2015, and 450 were arrested, with another 120 arrests taking place the following day.NEWS,weblink Vladimir Putin inauguration shows how popularity has crumbled, The Daily Telegraph, 7 May 2012, London, Tom, Parfitt, 7 May 2012, A counter-protest of Putin supporters occurred which culminated in a gathering of an estimated 130,000 supporters at the Luzhniki Stadium, Russia's largest stadium. Some of the attendees stated that they had been paid to come, were forced to come by their employers, or were misled into believing that they were going to attend a folk festival instead.NEWS, Putin tells stadium rally 'battle' is on for Russia,weblink BBC, 23 February 2012, BOOK, Ross, Cameron, Systemic and Non-Systemic Opposition in the Russian Federation: Civil Society Awakens?, 2016, Routledge, 978-1317047230, 46,weblink NEWS, Resolute Putin Faces a Russia That's Changed,weblink The New York Times, 23 February 2012, NEWS, Putin, Addressing Rally, Casts Himself as Unifier,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 24 February 2012, The rally is considered to be the largest in support of Putin to date.NEWS, Pro-Putin rally draws tens of thousands,weblink Al Jazeera, 23 February 2012, Putin's presidency was inaugurated in the Kremlin on 7 May 2012.WEB,weblink Vladimir Putin inaugurated as Russian president amid Moscow protests, 7 May 2012, The Guardian, 20 January 2014, On his first day as president, Putin issued 14 Presidential decrees, which are sometimes called the "May Decrees" by the media, including a lengthy one stating wide-ranging goals for the Russian economy. Other decrees concerned education, housing, skilled labor training, relations with the European Union, the defense industry, inter-ethnic relations, and other policy areas dealt with in Putin's program articles issued during the presidential campaign.WEB,weblink Putin decrees EU closeness policy, Voice of Russia,, 7 May 2012, 22 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 13 May 2013, dead, In 2012 and 2013, Putin and the United Russia party backed stricter legislation against the LGBT community, in Saint Petersburg, Archangelsk and Novosibirsk; a law called the Russian gay propaganda law, that is against "homosexual propaganda" (which prohibits such symbols as the rainbow flag as well as published works containing homosexual content) was adopted by the State Duma in June 2013.WEB,weblink ru:Госдума приняла закон о 'нетрадиционных отношениях', The State Duma has adopted a law on 'non-traditional relationships', ru, BBC Russia, 11 June 2013, 11 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 1 March 2014, dead, WEB,weblink ГД приняла закон об усилении наказания за пропаганду гомосексуализма среди подростков, RBC Information Systems, RBC, 11 June 2013, 11 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, 3 October 2013, WEB,weblink Discrimination in Russia: Arrests for Violation of St. Petersburg Anti-Gay Law, SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany, 6 April 2012, Der Spiegel, NEWS,weblink "Russian parliament backs ban on "gay propaganda", Reuters, 25 January 2013, Reuters, 25 January 2013, Responding to international concerns about Russia's legislation, Putin asked critics to note that the law was a "ban on the propaganda of pedophilia and homosexuality" and he stated that homosexual visitors to the 2014 Winter Olympics should "leave the children in peace" but denied there was any "professional, career or social discrimination" against homosexuals in Russia.NEWS,weblink Vladimir Putin: 'I know some people who are gay, we're on friendly terms', The Independent, Tomas, Jivanda, 19 January 2014, 8 February 2014, London, In June 2013, Putin attended a televised rally of the All-Russia People's Front where he was elected head of the movement,Putin becomes Popular Front for Russia leader, Interfax-Ukraine (13 June 2013) {{webarchive |url= |date=15 September 2013 }} which was set up in 2011.NEWS,weblink Echo of Soviet era in Putin's bid for votes, The Australian, 17 June 2011, According to journalist Steve Rosenberg, the movement is intended to "reconnect the Kremlin to the Russian people" and one day, if necessary, replace the increasingly unpopular United Russia party that currently backs Putin.NEWS,weblink Putin inaugurates new movement amid fresh protests, BBC, 12 June 2013, 12 June 2013,

Intervention in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea

File:Celebrating Victory Day and the 70th anniversary of Sevastopol’s liberation (2493-19).jpg|thumb|Putin, with St. George ribbon, greets local residents during a visit to the Crimean city of SevastopolSevastopolIn 2014, Russia made several military incursions into Ukrainian territory. After the Euromaidan protests and the fall of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Russian soldiers without insignias took control of strategic positions and infrastructure within the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Russia then annexed Crimea after a disputed referendum in which Crimeans voted to join the Russian Federation, according to official results.WEB,weblink BBC Radio 4 – Analysis, Maskirovka: Deception Russian-Style, BBC, 11 April 2015, NEWS,weblink Putin's remarks raise fears of future moves against Ukraine , The Washington Post, 14 September 2014, Kathy, Lally, 17 April 2014, WEB,weblink President of Russia,, 1 June 2010, 20 April 2014, Subsequently, demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Donbass area of Ukraine escalated into an armed conflict between the Ukrainian government and the Russia-backed separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. In August Russian military vehicles crossed the border in several locations of Donetsk Oblast.NEWS,weblink Time, Per Liljas, Rebels in Besieged Ukrainian City Reportedly Being Reinforced, 19 August 2014, 28 August 2014, Time, WEB,weblink How the war zone transformed between June 16 and Sept. 19, Kyiv Post, 25 September 2014, 21 March 2015, NEWS,weblink Exclusive: Charred tanks in Ukraine point to Russian involvement, Reuters, 23 October 2014, unian, 8 April 2015 debaltseve pocket created by Russian troops – yashin The incursion by the Russian military was seen{{by whom|date=January 2019}} as responsible for the defeat of Ukrainian forces in early September.Channel 4 News, 2 September 2014 tensions still high in UkraineWEB,weblink Ukraine ceasefire leaves frontline counting cost of war in uneasy calm, Luke Harding, The Guardian, 29 December 2014, File:Asia-Europe (ASEM) Summit meeting of the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, October 2014.jpg|thumbnail|left| Putin in talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François HollandeFrançois HollandeIn November 2014, the Ukrainian military reported intensive movement of troops and equipment from Russia into the separatist-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine.NEWS,weblink Kiev claims 'intensive' movements of troops crossing from Russia, 2 November 2014, Agence France-Presse, 13 November 2014, dead,weblink 14 November 2014, The Associated Press reported 80 unmarked military vehicles on the move in rebel-controlled areas.NEWS,weblink worst east Ukraine shelling for month, 9 November 2014, Reuters, 10 November 2014, various reuters, An OSCE Special Monitoring Mission observed convoys of heavy weapons and tanks in DPR-controlled territory without insignia.WEB,weblink Spot report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), 8 November 2014,, 8 November 2014, 9 November 2014, OSCE monitors further stated that they observed vehicles transporting ammunition and soldiers' dead bodies crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border under the guise of humanitarian-aid convoys.NEWS,weblink Ukraine Crisis: Russian 'Cargo 200' Crossed Border â€“ OSCE, BBC, UK, 13 November 2014, 13 November 2014, As of early August 2015, the OSCE observed over 21 such vehicles marked with the Russian military code for soldiers killed in action.NEWS, ru:ОБСЕ заявляет, что на ростовских КПП были машины с надписью "груз 200",weblink RIA Novosti, 6 August 2015, 7 August 2015, ru, According to The Moscow Times, Russia has tried to intimidate and silence human-rights workers discussing Russian soldiers' deaths in the conflict.NEWS,weblink Moscow Stifles Dissent as Soldiers Return From Ukraine in Coffins, The Moscow Times, 12 September 2014, Reuters, 9 November 2014, The OSCE repeatedly reported that its observers were denied access to the areas controlled by "combined Russian-separatist forces".WEB, Response to Special Representative in Ukraine Ambassador Martin Sajdik and OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Chief Monitor Ertugrul Apakan,weblink U.S. Mission to the OSCE, 4 November 2015, 6 November 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 December 2015, The majority of members of the international community and organizations such as Amnesty International have condemned Russia for its actions in post-revolutionary Ukraine, accusing it of breaking international law and of violating Ukrainian sovereignty. Many countries implemented economic sanctions against Russia, Russian individuals or companies{{snd}} to which Russia responded in kind.File:The opening of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque (2015-09-23) 01.jpg|thumb|Putin and Turkish President ErdoÄŸan attend Moscow's Cathedral Mosque opening ceremony, 23 September 2015]]In October 2015, The Washington Post reported that Russia had redeployed some of its elite units from Ukraine to Syria in recent weeks to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.WEB,weblink Russia said to redeploy special-ops forces from Ukraine to Syria, Fox News Channel, 24 October 2015, 24 October 2015, "The special forces were pulled out of Ukraine and sent to Syria," a Russian Ministry of Defense official said, adding that they had been serving in territories in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russia rebels. The official described them as "akin to a Delta Force," the U.S. Army's elite counterterrorism unit., In December 2015, Russian Federation President Putin admitted that Russian military intelligence officers were operating in Ukraine.NEWS,weblink Putin admits Russian military presence in Ukraine for first time, Shaun, Walker, The Guardian, 17 December 2015, Many{{quantify|date=January 2019}} members of the international community assumed that Putin's annexation of Crimea had initiated a completely new kind of Russian foreign policy.TSYGANKOV>FIRST= ANDREI, 4 July 2015, Vladimir Putin's last stand: the sources of Russia's Ukraine policyvolume= 31, 4doi= 10.1080/1060586x.2015.1005903, 1060-586X, They{{who|date=January 2019}} took the annexation of Crimea to mean that his foreign policy had shifted "from state-driven foreign policy" to taking an offensive stance to re-create the Soviet Union. However, this policy shift can be understood{{by whom|date=January 2019}} as Putin trying to defend nations in Russia's sphere of influence from encroaching western power. While the act to annex the Crimea was bold and drastic, his "new" foreign policy may have more similarities to his older policies.

Intervention in Syria

{{see also|Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War}}On 30 September 2015, President Putin authorized Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War, following a formal request by the Syrian government for military help against rebel and jihadist groups.NEWS,weblink Russia Launches Airstrikes in Syria Amid U.S. Concern About Targets, 30 September 2015, 7 October 2015, Los Angeles Times, Patrick J. McDonnell, W.J. Hennigan, Nabih Bulos, The Russian military activities consisted of air strikes, cruise missile strikes and the use of front line advisors and Russian special forces against militant groups opposed to the Syrian government, including the Syrian opposition, as well as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in the Levant), Tahrir al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham and the Army of Conquest.NEWS,weblink Clashes between Syrian troops, insurgents intensify in Russian-backed offensive, 8 October 2015, 10 October 2015, U.S. News & World Report, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 October 2015, NEWS,weblink Syrian army general says new ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes will 'eliminate terrorists', Lizzie, Dearden, 8 October 2015, 10 October 2015, The Independent, After Putin's announcement on 14 March 2016 that the mission he had set for the Russian military in Syria had been "largely accomplished" and ordered the withdrawal of the "main part" of the Russian forces from Syria,NEWS,weblink Syria conflict: Russia's Putin orders 'main part' of forces out, BBC World Service, 14 March 2016, 14 March 2016, Russian forces deployed in Syria continued to actively operate in support of the Syrian government.WEB,weblink Новости :: Генштаб ВС РФ объявил о новых авиаударах по террористам в Сирии, 9 April 2016,

Russia's interference in the US election

{{See also|Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections|Russia–United States relations}}File:2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum plenary meeting (5).jpg|thumb|At a conference in St. Petersburg, NBC's (Megyn Kelly]] repeatedly questioned Putin about alleged Russian cyberattacks."Full Megyn Kelly-Vladimir Putin exchange on Russian interference in U.S. election". YouTube. 2. 6. 2017.)In January 2017, a U.S. intelligence community assessment expressed "high confidence" that Putin personally ordered an "influence campaign," initially to denigrate Hillary Clinton and to harm her electoral chances and potential presidency, then later developing “a clear preference" for Donald Trump.NEWS, Background to 'Assessing Russian Activities in Recent US Elections': The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution, 6 January 2016, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and National Intelligence Council,weblink The New York Times, 11, 8 January 2017, subscription, "We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.", WEB,weblink Putin Ordered ‘Influence Campaign’ Aimed at U.S. Election, Report Says, David E., Sanger, 6 January 2017,, Putin has consistently denied any Russian interference in the U.S. election.NEWS, Filipov, David,weblink Putin to Democratic Party: You lost, get over it, The Washington Post, 23 December 2016, 21 July 2017, Don't be sore losers. That was how Putin answered a question Friday at his nationally televised annual news conference about whether Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. The Democrats 'are losing on all fronts and looking elsewhere for things to blame,' he told the nearly 1,400 journalists packed into a Moscow convention hall for the nearly four-hour event. 'In my view, this, how shall I say it, degrades their own dignity. You have to know how to lose with dignity.', WEB, Walker, Shaun,weblink 'Read my lips – no': Putin denies Russian meddling in US presidential election, The Guardian, 30 March 2017, 21 July 2017, 'Read my lips—no,' the Russian president answered when asked whether Russia had tried to influence the vote. He emphasized the denial by saying 'no' in English., WEB, Fahrenthold, David A.,weblink Putin calls U.S. election-meddling charge a 'load of nonsense' in Megyn Kelly interview, The Washington Post, 4 June 2017, 21 July 2017, 'There's a John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, theory that Assassination of John F. Kennedy, Kennedy's assassination was arranged by the United States intelligence services. So, if this theory is correct—and that can't be ruled out—' then the same agencies could fabricate evidence of Russian hacking, Putin said., NEWS, Liptak, Kevin,weblink Trump officials decline to rebut Russia's claims that Trump seemed to accept election denials, CNN, 8 July 2017, 21 July 2017, Top advisers to President Donald Trump declined three times on Saturday to rebut claims from Russian officials that Trump had accepted their denials of alleged Russian interference in the US election. ... Russian President Vladimir Putin ... told reporters that Trump appeared to accept his assertion that Russia did not meddle in the US presidential contest., WEB,weblink Putin: 'Does Anyone Seriously Imagine Russia Can Somehow Influence the American People's Choice?, CNS News, 28 October 2016, 8 October 2017, Does anyone seriously imagine that Russia can somehow influence the American people's choice? America is not some kind of banana republic after all but is a great power. Do correct me if I am wrong., WEB,weblink Megyn Kelly Drills Vladimir Putin on Presidential Election Hack, Russia's Ties With Trump (Video), Yahoo News, 7 June 2017, 8 October 2017, Presidents come and go, and even the parties in power change, but the main political direction does not change. That's why, in the grand scheme of things, we don't care who's the head of the United States. We know more or less what is going to happen. And so in this regard, even if we wanted to, it wouldn't make sense for us to interfere., The New York Times reported in July 2018 that the CIA had long nurtured a Russian source who eventually rose to a position close to Putin, allowing the source to pass key information in 2016 about Putin's direct involvement.WEB,weblink From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered, David E., Sanger, Matthew, Rosenberg, 18 July 2018,,

2018–present: Fourth presidential term

{{See also|Vladimir Putin 2018 presidential campaign}}Putin won the 2018 presidential election with more than 76% of the vote.NEWS,weblink Muted Western reaction to Putin victory, 19 March 2018, BBC News, 19 March 2018, His fourth term began on 7 May 2018.WEB,weblink Когда будет инаугурация президента РФ?,, 20 March 2018, On the same day, Putin invited Dmitry Medvedev to form a new government.WEB,weblink Путин предложил кандидатуру Медведева на пост премьера, 7 May 2018, РИА Новости, On 15 May 2018, Putin took part in the opening of the movement along the highway section of the Crimean bridge.NEWS, ru:Открытие автодорожной части Крымского моста,weblink, 15 May 2018, 15 May 2018, ru, On 18 May 2018, Putin signed decrees on the composition of the new Government.NEWS, ru:Президент подписал указы о составе нового Правительства,weblink, 18 May 2018, 18 May 2018, ru, On 25 May 2018, Putin announced that he would not run for president in 2024, justifying this in compliance with the Russian Constitution.NEWS, ru:Путин заявил, что не намерен выдвигать свою кандидатуру на пятый президентский срок подряд,weblink Новости RT на русском, 25 March 2018, 25 March 2018, ru, On 14 June 2018, Putin opened the 21st FIFA World Cup, which took place in Russia for the first time.In September 2019, Putin's administration interfered with the results of Russia's nationwide regional elections, and manipulated it by eliminating all candidates in the opposition. The event that was aimed at contributing to the ruling party, United Russia's victory, also contributed to inciting mass protests for democracy, leading to large-scale arrests and cases of police brutality._WEB,weblink The Observer view on Putin’s ongoing corruption of democracy, 8 September 2019, The Guardian,

Domestic policies

Putin's domestic policies, particularly early in his first presidency, were aimed at creating a vertical power structure. On 13 May 2000, he issued a decree putting the 89 federal subjects of Russia into seven administrative federal districts and appointed a presidential envoy responsible for each of those districts (whose official title is Plenipotentiary Representative).BOOK, World Freedom Foundation, Vladimir Putin – Direct Speech Without Cuts, 2015, 978-1329390928, 44,weblink File:Map of Russian districts, 2016-07-28.svg|thumb|On 13 May 2000, Putin introduced seven federal districts for administrative purposes. On 19 January 2010, the 8th North Caucasus Federal District (shown here in purple) was split from Southern Federal District. On 21 March 2014, the new 9th Crimean Federal District was formed after the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federationannexation of Crimea by the Russian FederationAccording to Stephen White, under the presidency of Putin Russia made it clear that it had no intention of establishing a "second edition" of the American or British political system, but rather a system that was closer to Russia's own traditions and circumstances.BOOK, White, Stephen, Stephen, White, Developments in Russian Politics 7, 2010, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 978-0-230-22449-0, Classifying Russia's Politics, Some commentators have described Putin's administration as a "sovereign democracy".R. Sakwa, Putin: Russia's Choice, 2008, p. 42-43JOURNAL, Okara, Andrei, Sovereign Democracy: A New Russian Idea Or a PR Project?, Russia in Global Affairs, July–September 2007, 5, 3,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 April 2016, JOURNAL, Petrov, Nikolai, From Managed Democracy to Sovereign Democracy, December 2005,weblink Center for Political-Geographic Research, According to the proponents of that description (primarily Vladislav Surkov), the government's actions and policies ought above all to enjoy popular support within Russia itself and not be directed or influenced from outside the country.WEB,weblink Sovereignty is a Political Synonym of Competitiveness, Surkov, Vladislav, 7 February 2006,weblink" title="">weblink 12 February 2008, dead, 18 August 2016, The practice of the system is however characterized by Swedish economist Anders Åslund:WEB,weblink The Illusions of Putin’s Russia, Åslund, Anders, Atlantic Council, en-gb, 2019-06-16, The period after 2012 also saw mass protests against the falsification of elections, censorship and toughening of free assembly laws.{{See also|2011–2013 Russian protests|Bolotnaya Square case|2017–2018 Russian protests}}{{See also|Freedom of assembly in Russia|Media freedom in Russia|Internet censorship in Russia}}In July 2000, according to a law proposed by Putin and approved by the Federal Assembly of Russia, Putin gained the right to dismiss the heads of the 89 federal subjects. In 2004, the direct election of those heads (usually called "governors") by popular vote was replaced with a system whereby they would be nominated by the president and approved or disapproved by regional legislatures.Lynch, Dov (2005). "The enemy is at the gate": Russia after Beslan{{Dead link|date=October 2019 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}. International Affairs 81 (1), 141–161.Putin tightens grip on security, BBC News, 13 September 2004. This was seen by Putin as a necessary move to stop separatist tendencies and get rid of those governors who were connected with organised crime.WEB,weblink Президентское фильтрование губернаторов оценили политики,, 7 May 2012, This and other government actions effected under Putin's presidency have been criticised by many independent Russian media outlets and Western commentators as anti-democratic.NEWS, Kramer, Andrew E.,weblink 50% Good News Is the Bad News in Russian Radio, Russia, The New York Times, 22 April 2007, 24 September 2011, WEB, Masha Lipman, Anders Aslund,weblink Russian Media Criticism of Vladimir Putin: Evidence and Significance,, 2 December 2004, 2 March 2010, In 2012, as proposed by Putin's successor, Dmitry Medvedev, the direct election of governors was re-introduced.NEWS,weblink State Duma Approves Liberal Political Reforms, RIA Novosti, 28 February 2012, 7 May 2012, During his first term in office, Putin opposed some of the Yeltsin-era oligarchs, as well as his political opponents, resulting in the exile or imprisonment of such people as Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky; other oligarchs such as Roman Abramovich and Arkady Rotenberg are friends and allies with Putin.NEWS,weblink Arkady Rotenberg, Forbes, 2013, 23 December 2013, Putin succeeded in codifying land law and tax law and promulgated new codes on labor, administrative, criminal, commercial and civil procedural law.BOOK, Sharlet, Robert, Developments in Russian Politics, White, Gitelman, Sakwa, Duke University Press, 2005, 6, In Search of the Rule of Law, 978-0-8223-3522-1, Under Medvedev's presidency, Putin's government implemented some key reforms in the area of state security, the Russian police reform and the Russian military reform.{{citation needed|date=October 2018}}

Economic, industrial, and energy policies

{{See also|Economy of Russia|Russian financial crisis (2014–present)|Great Recession in Russia|Energy policy of Russia}}{{update|section|date=February 2016}}File:GDP of Russia since 1989.svg|thumb|Russian GDP since the end of the Soviet UnionSoviet UnionFile:Crude oil prices since 1861.png|thumb|Historical crude oil prices. Economic growth in Putin's first two terms was fueled by the 2000s commodities boom, including high oil prices ]]Fueled by the 2000s commodities boom including record high oil prices, under the Putin administration from 2001 to 2007, the economy made real gains of an average 7% per year,WEB,weblink Report for Selected Countries and Subjects,, 14 September 2006, 9 December 2011, making it the 7th largest economy in the world in purchasing power. In 2007, Russia's GDP exceeded that of Russian SFSR in 1990, having recovered from the 1998 financial crisis and the preceding recession in the 1990s.NEWS,weblink Russia's economy under Vladimir Putin: achievements and failures, RIA Novosti, 22 June 2013, During Putin's first eight years in office, industry grew substantially, as did production, construction, real incomes, credit, and the middle class.WEB, Katya, Malofeeva, Tim, Brenton,weblink Putin's Economy – Eight Years On, Russia Profile, 15 August 2007, 23 April 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 October 2014, WEB,weblink Основные Социально-Экономические Индикаторы Уровня Жизни Населения,, 2 March 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 18 February 2012, Putin has also been praised for eliminating widespread barter and thus boosting the economy.Iikka. Korhonen et al. The challenges of the Medvedev era {{webarchive|url= |date=20 March 2012 }}. Bank of Finland's Institute for Economies in Transition, 24 June 2008. Inflation remained a problem however.A fund for oil revenue allowed Russia to repay all of the Soviet Union's debts by 2005. Russia joined the World Trade Organization on 22 August 2012.WEB,weblink WTO {{!, Accessions: Russian Federation||access-date=14 March 2019}}File:RF NG pipestoEU.gif|thumb|Under Putin, Russia is a major exporter of oil and gas to much of Europe]]Control over the economy was increased by placing individuals from the intelligence services and the military in key positions of the Russian economy, including on boards of large companies.In 2005, an industry consolidation programme was launched to bring the main aircraft producing companies under a single umbrella organization, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). The aim was to optimize production lines and minimise losses.JOURNAL,weblink State-sponsored consolidation, Zvereva, Polina, Russia & CIS Observer, 26, 3, 11 October 2009, The UAC is one of Russia's "national champions" and comparable to EADS in Europe.WEB,weblink ANNUAL REPORT of Joint Stock Company United Aircraft Corporation for 2009, United Aircraft Corporation, Moscow, 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 August 2013, A program was introduced with the aim of increasing Russia's share of the European energy market by building submerged gas pipelines bypassing Ukraine and other countries which were often seen as non-reliable transit partners by Russia, especially following the Russia-Ukraine gas disputes of the late 2000s. Russia also undermined the rival Nabucco pipeline project by buying gas from Turkmenistan and redirecting it into Russian pipelines.{{citation needed|date=October 2018}}Russia diversified its export markets by building the Trans-Siberian oil pipeline to support oil exports to China, Japan and Korea, as well as the Sakhalin–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok gas pipeline in the Russian Far East. Russia has also recently built several major oil and gas refineries, plants and ports. Major hydropower plants such as the Bureya Dam and the Boguchany Dam have been constructed, as well as the restoration of the nuclear industry of Russia, with 1 trillion rubles ($42.7 billion) which were allocated from the federal budget to nuclear power and industry development before 2015.Russia builds nuclear power stations all over the world at Many nuclear power stations and units are currently being constructed by the state corporation Rosatom in Russia and abroad.{{citation needed|date=October 2018}}File:Russia and China sign major gas deal.jpeg|thumb|On 21 May 2014, Russia and China signed a $400 billion gas deal ]]A construction program of floating nuclear power plants is intended to provide power to Russian Arctic coastal cities and gas rigs, starting in 2012.NEWS, Richard Galpin,weblink The struggle for Arctic riches, BBC News, 22 September 2010, 28 August 2011, WEB, Peter Fairley,weblink Russia Launches Floating Nuclear Power Plant, IEEE Spectrum, 2 July 2010, 28 August 2011, The Arctic policy of Russia also includes an offshore oilfield in the Pechora Sea which is expected to start producing in early 2012, with the world's first ice-resistant oil platform and first offshore Arctic platform.NEWS,weblink Prirazlmonaya sea platform to be delivered to offshore oil field, Information Telegraph Agency of Russia, 26 August 2011, 28 August 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 January 2012, In August 2011, Rosneft, a Russian government-operated oil company, signed a deal with ExxonMobil for Arctic oil production.NEWS, Andrew Kramer,weblink Exxon Reaches Arctic Oil Deal With Russians, 30 August 2011, 5 September 2011, The New York Times, The construction of a pipeline at a cost of $77  billion, to be jointly funded by Russia and China, was signed off on by Putin in Shanghai on 21 May 2014. On completion, in an estimated 4 to 6 years, the pipeline would deliver natural gas from the state-majority-owned Gazprom to China's state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation for the next 30 years, in a deal worth $400bn.NEWS, China and Russia sign $400 billion 30-year gas deal,weblink 22 May 2014, Russia Herald,weblink" title="">weblink 22 May 2014, dead, In 2014, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project named Putin their Person of the Year Award for furthering corruption and organized crime.WEB,weblink OCCRP 2014 Person of the Year, 31 December 2014, NEWS,weblink Vladimir Putin named Person of the Year for 'innovation' in 'organised crime', International Business Times, 3 January 2015, As noted by Russian journalists after the 2018 presidential inauguration, Putin has since 2007 repeatedly predicted that Russia will become "one of the world's fifth largest economies" roughly within 10 years from that date; thus far this target has not been achieved.NEWS,weblink When will Russia become the world's fifth biggest economy? Don't ask Vladimir Putin., Meduza, 9 May 2018, en-EN,

2014 financial crisis and economic downturn

The ongoing financial crisis began in the second half of 2014 when the Russian ruble collapsed due to a decline in the price of oil and international sanctions against Russia. These events in turn led to loss of investor confidence and capital flight.NEWS, Kitroeff, Natalie Natalie, Weisenthal, Joe, Here's Why the Russian Ruble Is Collapsing,weblink Bloomberg, 16 December 2014, Though it has also been argued that the sanctions had little to no effect on Russia's economy.NEWS, Sanctions boost Russian economic resilience,weblink Deutsche Welle, 24 March 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 March 2017, NEWS, How the Sanctions Are Helping Putin,weblink Politico, Energy, trade, and finance agreements with China worth $25 billion were signed in October 2014 in an effort to compensate for international sanctions. The following year, a $400 billion 30-year natural gas supply agreement was also signed with China.WEB,weblink Russia signs deals with China to help weather sanctions, 13 October 2014, 12 January 2015, CNBC,

Environmental policy

In 2004, President Putin signed the Kyoto Protocol treaty designed to reduce greenhouse gases.The New York Times. 6 November 2004. Retrieved 20 April 2008. However, Russia did not face mandatory cuts, because the Kyoto Protocol limits emissions to a percentage increase or decrease from 1990 levels and Russia's greenhouse-gas emissions fell well below the 1990 baseline due to a drop in economic output after the breakup of the Soviet Union.WEB,weblink G8's Gradual Move toward Post-Kyoto Climate Change Policy, Tony Johnson, Council on Foreign Relations, 2 March 2010, Putin personally supervises a number of protection programmes for rare and endangered animals in Russia, such as the Amur tiger, the white whale, the polar bear and the snow leopard.The Amur Tiger Programme {{webarchive |url= |date=22 September 2011 }}The White Whale Programme {{webarchive |url= |date=13 June 2012 }}The Polar Bear Programme {{webarchive |url= |date=13 June 2012 }}The Snow Leopard Programme {{webarchive |url= |date=13 June 2012 }}

Religious policy

(File:Vladimir Putin 21 February 2001-2.jpg|thumb|left|Putin with religious leaders of Russia, 2001)Buddhism, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Islam and Judaism, defined by law as Russia's traditional religions and a part of Russia's historical heritage,BOOK, Bell, I, Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia,weblink 27 December 2007, 978-1-85743-137-7, 2002, enjoyed limited state support in the Putin era. The vast construction and restoration of churches, started in the 1990s, continued under Putin, and the state allowed the teaching of religion in schools (parents are provided with a choice for their children to learn the basics of one of the traditional religions or secular ethics). His approach to religious policy has been characterized as one of support for religious freedoms, but also the attempt to unify different religions under the authority of the state.A religion for the nation or a nation for the religion: Putin's third way for Russia, Beth Admiraal, in Russian Nationalism and the National Reassertion of Russia, edited by Marlène Laruelle, (Routledge, 2009) In 2012, Putin was honored in Bethlehem and a street was named after him.WEB,weblink Bethlehem street named after Putin, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 27 June 2012, 22 June 2013, File:Vladimir Putin in Tuva 2007-54.jpg|thumb|Putin visiting the Tuva RepublicTuva RepublicPutin regularly attends the most important services of the Russian Orthodox Church on the main Orthodox Christian holidays. He established a good relationship with Patriarchs of the Russian Church, the late Alexy II of Moscow and the current Kirill of Moscow. As president, he took an active personal part in promoting the Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, signed 17 May 2007 that restored relations between the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia after the 80-year schism.PRESS RELEASE, he President of Russia attended the ceremonial signing of the Act on Canonical Communion that was held in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Embassy of Russia in Ottawa, 17 May 2007,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 11 December 2008, dead, 2 October 2008, Under Putin, the Hasidic FJCR became increasingly influential within the Jewish community, partly due to the influence of Federation-supporting businessmen mediated through their alliances with Putin, notably Lev Leviev and Roman Abramovich.No love lost, Yossi Mehlman, Haaretz, 11 December 2005Phyllis Berman Lea Goldman, (15 September 2003). "Cracked De Beers". Forbes According to the JTA, Putin is popular amongst the Russian Jewish community, who see him as a force for stability. Russia's chief rabbi, Berel Lazar, said Putin "paid great attention to the needs of our community and related to us with a deep respect".WEB, Krichevksy, Lev,weblink "In Putin's return, Russian Jews see stability". Jewish Telegraphic Agency, The Jerusalem Post, 10 October 2011, 22 June 2013, In 2016, Ronald S. Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, also praised Putin for making Russia "a country where Jews are welcome".WEB, Ronald S. Lauder: Russia's fight against anti-Semitism isn't just good for Jews – it's good for Russia as well,weblink World Jewish Congress, 1 November 2016, 1 November 2016,

Military development

File:Vladimir Putin Cockpit TU-160 Bomber.jpg|thumb|Putin in the cockpit of a Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomberstrategic bomberFile:Pyotr Velikiy battlecruiser 4.jpg|thumb|Putin aboard the battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy during a Northern FleetNorthern FleetThe resumption of long-distance flights of Russia's strategic bombers was followed by the announcement by Russian Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov during his meeting with Putin on 5 December 2007, that 11 ships, including the aircraft carrier Kuznetsov, would take part in the first major navy sortie into the Mediterranean since Soviet times.WEB,weblink ru:Начало встречи с Министром обороны Анатолием Сердюковым, Start of the meeting with Defence Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov, ru,, 5 December 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 June 2008, The sortie was to be backed up by 47 aircraft, including strategic bombers.Guy Faulconbridge Russian navy to start sorties in Mediterranean. Reuters. 5 December 2007.While from the early 2000s Russia started placing more money into its military and defense industry, it was only in 2008 that the full-scale Russian military reform began, aiming to modernize the Russian Armed Forces and making them significantly more effective. The reform was largely carried out by Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov during Medvedev's Presidency, under the supervision of both Putin, as the Head of Government, and Medvedev, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces.Key elements of the reform included reducing the armed forces to a strength of one million; reducing the number of officers; centralising officer training from 65 military schools into 10 'systemic' military training centres; creating a professional NCO corps; reducing the size of the central command; introducing more civilian logistics and auxiliary staff; elimination of cadre-strength formations; reorganising the reserves; reorganising the army into a brigade system, and reorganising air forces into an air base system instead of regiments.NEWS,weblink Military reform to change army structure. What about its substance?, RIA Novosti, 17 October 2008, 7 May 2012, The number of Russia's military districts was reduced to four. The term of draft service was reduced from two years to one, which put an end to the old harassment traditions in Russian army, since all conscripts became very close by draft age. The gradual transition to the majority professional army by the late 2010s was announced, and a large programme of supplying the Armed Forces with new military equipment and ships was started. The Russian Space Forces were replaced on 1 December 2011 with the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces.In spite of Putin's call for major investments in strategic nuclear weapons, these will fall well below the New START limits due to the retirement of aging systems.Kristensen, Hans M. "New START Data Released: Nuclear Flatlining."FAS, 3 October 2012. After U.S. President George W. Bush withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Putin responded by ordering a build-up of Russia's nuclear capabilities, designed to counterbalance U.S. capabilities.NEWS, Majumdar, Dave, 1 March 2018, Russia's Nuclear Weapons Buildup Is Aimed at Beating U.S. Missile Defenses,weblink The National Interest, US, 26 October 2018, Most analysts agree that Russia's nuclear strategy under Putin eventually brought it into violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Because of this, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would no longer consider itself bound by the treaty's provisions, raising nuclear tensions between the two powers.NEWS, Hurlbert, Heather, 26 October 2018, Russia Violated an Arms Treaty. Trump Ditched It, Making the Nuclear Threat Even Worse.,weblink New York Magazine, US, 26 October 2018, This prompted Putin to state that Russia would not launch first in a nuclear conflict but would “annihilate” any adversary. Russians killed in such a conflict “will go to heaven as martyrs”.NEWS, 19 October 2018, 'Aggressors Will Be Annihilated, We Will Go to Heaven as Martyrs,' Putin Says,weblink The Moscow Times, Russia, 26 October 2018, Most military analysts believe Russia would consider launching first if losing a major conventional conflict as part of an 'escalate to de-escalate’ strategy that would bring adversaries to the negotiating table.NEWS, Blank, Stephen, 25 February 2018, Getting Russia’s nuclear strategy mostly right,weblink The Hill, US, 26 October 2018, Putin has also sought to increase Russian territorial claims in the Arctic and its military presence here. In August 2007, Russian expedition Arktika 2007, part of research related to the 2001 Russian territorial extension claim, planted a flag on the seabed below the North Pole.NEWS, William J. Broad,weblink Russia's Claim Under Polar Ice Irks American, The New York Times, 19 February 2008, 27 July 2011, Both Russian submarines and troops deployed in the Arctic have been increasing.NEWS, Adrian Blomfield,weblink Russia plans Arctic military build-up, The Daily Telegraph, 11 June 2008, 27 July 2011, London, WEB, Mia Bennett,weblink Russia, Like Other Arctic States, Solidifies Northern Military Presence, Foreign Policy Association, 4 July 2011, 27 July 2011,

Human rights policy

{{see also|Russian foreign agent law|Internet Restriction Bill|Dima Yakovlev Law}}File:March in memory of Boris Nemtsov in Moscow (2017-02-26) 78.jpg|thumb|Russian opposition protest in Moscow, 26 February 2017]]An NGO based in the New York City; Human Rights Watch; in a report entitled Laws of Attrition, authored by Hugh Williamson, the British director of HRW's Europe & Central Asia Division, has claimed that since May 2012, when Putin was re-elected as president, Russia has enacted many restrictive laws, started inspections of nongovernmental organizations, harassed, intimidated, and imprisoned political activists, and started to restrict critics. The new laws include the "foreign agents" law, which is widely regarded as over-broad by including Russian human rights organizations which receive some international grant funding, the treason law, and the assembly law which penalizes many expressions of dissent.“Laws of Attrition: Crackdown on Russia’s Civil Society after Putin’s Return to the Presidency,” Human Rights Watch pdf report 24 April 2013Russia: Worst Human Rights Climate in Post-Soviet Era, Unprecedented Crackdown on Civil Society Human Rights Watch Summary 24 April 2013 Human rights activists have criticized Russia for censoring speech of LGBT activists due to "the gay propaganda law"NEWS,weblink 'We'll cut off your head': open season for LGBT attacks in Kyrgyzstan, North, Andrew, 4 May 2016, The Guardian, 21 June 2017, 0261-3077, and increasing violence against LGBT+ people due to the law.NEWS,weblink Russian anti-gay law prompts rise in homophobic violence, Luhn, Alec, 1 September 2013, The Guardian, 21 June 2017, 0261-3077, NEWS,weblink The Chilling Effects of Russia's Anti-Gay Law, One Year Later, Keating, Joshua, 9 October 2014, Slate, 21 June 2017, 1091-2339, NEWS,weblink Russia's LGBT Youth Victimized by 'Gay Propaganda' Law, 21 June 2017,

The media

{{See also|Media of Russia}}Scott Gehlbach, an American Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has claimed that since 1999, Putin has reportedly punished journalists who challenge his official point of view.Scott Gehlbach, "Reflections on Putin and the Media". Post-Soviet Affairs 26#1 (2010): 77–87 Maria Lipman, an American writing in Foreign Affairs (the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations), claims, "The crackdown that followed Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012 extended to the liberal media, which had until then been allowed to operate fairly independently."Maria Lipman, "How Putin Silences Dissent: Inside the Kremlin's Crackdown". Foreign Affairs 95#1 (2016): 38. The Internet has attracted Putin's attention because his critics have tried to use it to challenge his control of information.Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries (2015). Marian K. Leighton, who worked for the CIA as a Soviet analyst in the 1980s says, "Having muzzled Russia's print and broadcast media, Putin focused his energies on the Internet."Marian K. Leighton, "Muzzling the Russian Media Again." (2016): 820–826. Robert W. Orttung and Christopher Walker report:
Reporters Without Borders, for instance, ranked Russia 148 in its 2013 list of 179 countries in terms of freedom of the press. It particularly criticized Russia for the crackdown on the political opposition and the failure of the authorities to vigorously pursue and bring to justice criminals who have murdered journalists. Freedom House ranks Russian media as "not free", indicating that basic safeguards and guarantees for journalists and media enterprises are absent.
Robert W. Orttung and Christopher Walker, "Putin and Russia's crippled media". Russian Analytical Digest 21.123 (2013): 2–6 online {{Webarchive|url= |date=16 September 2016 }} In the early 2000s, Putin and others in his government began promoting the idea in Russian media that they are the modern-day version of the 17th-century Romanov tsars who ended Russia's "Time of Troubles", meaning they claim to be the peacemakers and stabilizers after the fall of the Soviet Union.JOURNAL, Levin, Eve, Fall 2011, Muscovy and Its Mythologies, Kritika: Explorations in Russian & Eurasian History, 12, 4, 773–788, 10.1353/kri.2011.0058,

Promoting conservatism

File:Vladimir Putin in Pokrova Church (Turginovo) 03.jpg|thumb|Putin attends the Orthodox Christmas service in the village Turginovo in Kalininsky District, Tver OblastTver OblastPutin has promoted explicitly conservative policies in social, cultural and political matters, both at home and abroad. Putin has attacked globalism and neo-liberalism and is identified by scholars with Russian conservatism.Sergei Prozorov, "Russian conservatism in the Putin presidency: The dispersion of a hegemonic discourse." Journal of Political Ideologies 10#2 (2005): 121–143. Putin has promoted new think tanks that bring together like-minded intellectuals and writers. For example, the Izborsky Club, founded in 2012 by the conservative right-wing journalist Alexander Prokhanov, stresses (i) Russian nationalism, (ii) the restoration of Russia's historical greatness, and (iii) systematic opposition to liberal ideas and policies.Marlene Laruelle, "The Izborsky Club, or the New Conservative Avant‐Garde in Russia." Russian Review 75#4 (2016): 626–644. Vladislav Surkov, a senior government official, has been one of the key economics consultants during Putin's presidency.Sirke Mäkinen, "Surkovian narrative on the future of Russia: making Russia a world leader." Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics 27#2 (2011): 143–165.In cultural and social affairs Putin has collaborated closely with the Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, head of the Church, endorsed his election in 2012 stating Putin's terms were like "a miracle of God."BOOK, Julia Gerlach and Jochen Töpfer, eds., The Role of Religion in Eastern Europe Today,weblink 2014, Springer, 135, 978-3658024413, Steven Myers reports, "The church, once heavily repressed, had emerged from the Soviet collapse as one of the most respected institutions... Now Kiril led the faithful directly into an alliance with the state."BOOK, Myers, The New Tsar,weblink 2016, 404, 978-0345802798, Mark Woods, a Baptist minister and contributing editor to Christian Today, provides specific examples of how the Church has backed the expansion of Russian power into Crimea and eastern Ukraine.Mark Woods, "How the Russian Orthodox Church is backing Vladimir Putin's new world order" Christian Today 3 March 2016 More broadly, The New York Times reports in September 2016 how the Church's policy prescriptions support the Kremlin's appeal to social conservatives:
"A fervent foe of homosexuality and any attempt to put individual rights above those of family, community or nation, the Russian Orthodox Church helps project Russia as the natural ally of all those who pine for a more secure, illiberal world free from the tradition-crushing rush of globalization, multiculturalism and women's and gay rights.Andrew Higgins, "In Expanding Russian Influence, Faith Combines With Firepower," New York Times Sept 13, 2016 "

International sporting events

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}}In 2007, Putin led a successful effort on behalf of Sochi (located along the Black Sea near the border between Georgia and Russia) for the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2014 Winter Paralympics,WEB,weblink WMV, Sochi speech,, 2007, dead,weblink 10 July 2007, the first Winter Olympic Games to ever be hosted by Russia. Likewise, in 2008, the city of Kazan won the bid for the 2013 Summer Universiade, and on 2 December 2010 Russia won the right to host the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup, also for the first time in Russian history. In 2013, Putin stated that gay athletes would not face any discrimination at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics."Sochi 2014: Putin declares gay athletes welcome", BBC (28 October 2013).

Wildlife protection and conservation

Putin is chairman of the Russian Geographical Society's board of trustees and is actively engaged in the protection of rare species. The programs are being conducted by the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences.WEB,weblink Russian Geographical Society, 20 March 2017, Russian Geographical Society, 20 March 2017,

Foreign policy

(File:Vladimir Putin in the United States 13-16 November 2001-22.jpg|thumb|Putin's visit to the United States in November 2001)File:Vladimir Putin and Sooronbay Jeenbekov (2019-03-28) 04.jpg|thumb|Putin with Sooronbay Jeenbekov in BishkekBishkek{{see also|Foreign relations of Russia|List of international presidential trips made by Vladimir Putin}}

South and East Asia

{{see also|India–Russia relations|People's Republic of China-Russia relations|Shanghai Cooperation Organisation}}File:Парад в честь 70-летия Великой Победы - 15.jpg|thumb|Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade2015 Moscow Victory Day ParadeIn 2012, Putin wrote an article in the Hindu newspaper, saying that "The Declaration on Strategic Partnership between India and Russia signed in October 2000 became a truly historic step".NEWS, Vladimir Putin,weblink For Russia, deepening friendship with India is a top foreign policy priority by President Vladimir Putin, The Hindu, 24 December 2012, 22 June 2013, Chennai, India, NEWS,weblink India, Russia sign new defence deals, BBC, 24 December 2012, 22 June 2013, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during Putin's 2012 visit to India: "President Putin is a valued friend of India and the original architect of the India-Russia strategic partnership".WEB, Rajeev Sharma, specially for RIR,weblink 13th Indo-Russian Summit reaffirms time-tested ties: Russia & India Report,, 24 December 2012, 22 June 2013, Putin's Russia maintains positive relations with other BRIC countries. The country has sought to strengthen ties especially with the People's Republic of China by signing the Treaty of Friendship as well as building the Trans-Siberian oil pipeline geared toward growing Chinese energy needs.NEWS,weblink Russian Oil Route Will Open to China, Jeremy, Page, The Wall Street Journal, 26 September 2010, 28 September 2010, The mutual-security cooperation of the two countries and their central Asian neighbours is facilitated by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.WEB,weblink The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Council on Foreign Relations, en, 14 March 2019, The announcement made during the SCO summit that Russia resumes on a permanent basis the long-distance patrol flights of its strategic bombers (suspended in 1992)WEB,weblink Press Statement following the Peace Mission 2007 Counterterrorism Exercises and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit,, 17 August 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 May 2008, Russia restores Soviet-era strategic bomber patrols, 17 August 2007, RIA Novosti, Russia. in the light of joint Russian-Chinese military exercises, first-ever in history held on Russian territory,SCO Scares NATO {{Webarchive|url= |date=10 February 2012 }}, 8 August 2007,
made some experts believe that Putin is inclined to set up an anti-NATO bloc or the Asian version of OPEC.
Russia Over Three Oceans {{Webarchive|url= |date=8 February 2012 }}, 20 August 2007, "Chas", Latvia. {{webarchive |url=|date=8 February 2012 }}
When presented with the suggestion that "Western observers are already likening the SCO to a military organization that would stand in opposition to NATO", Putin answered that "this kind of comparison is inappropriate in both form and substance".

Post-Soviet states

{{Further|Colour revolution|Russia–Ukraine gas disputes|Russia–Ukraine relations|Belarus–Russia relations|Georgia–Russia relations|Kyrgyzstan–Russia relations|Kazakhstan–Russia relations|Eurasian Economic Union}}A series of so-called colour revolutions in the post-Soviet states, namely the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004 and the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan in 2005, led to frictions in the relations of those countries with Russia. In December 2004, Putin criticized the Rose and Orange revolutions, saying: "If you have permanent revolutions you risk plunging the post-Soviet space into endless conflict".Polish head rejects Putin attack, BBC News (24 December 2004)File:Vladimir Putin 22 February 2008-1.jpg|thumb|Meeting with Mikheil SaakashviliMikheil Saakashvili File:Vladimir Putin and Nikol Pashinyan (2018-05-14) 02.jpg|thumb|Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Putin in SochiSochiA number of economic disputes erupted between Russia and some neighbors, such as the Russian import ban of Georgian wine. And in some cases, such as the Russia–Ukraine gas disputes, the economic conflicts affected other European countries, for example when a January 2009 gas dispute with Ukraine led state-controlled Russian company Gazprom to halt its deliveries of natural gas to Ukraine,Q&A: Russia-Ukraine gas row, BBC News (20 January 2009). which left a number of European states, to which Ukraine transits Russian gas, with serious shortages of natural gas in January 2009.The plans of Georgia and Ukraine to become members of NATO have caused some tensions between Russia and those states."Playing East against West: The success of the Eastern Partnership depends on Ukraine". The Economist. 23 November 2013. In 2010, Ukraine did abandon these plans.Ukraine's parliament votes to abandon Nato ambitions, BBC News (3 June 2010) Putin allegedly declared at a NATO-Russia summit in 2008 that if Ukraine joined NATO Russia could contend to annex the Ukrainian East and Crimea."After Russian Invasion of Georgia, Putin's Words Stir Fears about Ukraine", Kyiv Post (30 November 2010) At the summit, he told US President George W. Bush that "Ukraine is not even a state!" while the following year Putin referred to Ukraine as "Little Russia".Bohm, M. Ukraine Is Putin's Favorite Vassal. The Moscow Times. 25 December 2013 Following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution in March 2014, the Russian Federation annexed Crimea.NEWS, Walker, Shaun, 4 March 2014,weblink Russian takeover of Crimea will not descend into war, says Vladimir Putin, The Guardian, London, 4 March 2014, NEWS,weblink Russia Stays in Ukraine as Putin Channels Yanukovych Request, Sangwon, Yoon, Daryna, Krasnolutska, Kateryna, Choursina, 4 March 2014, 5 March 2014, Bloomberg News, NEWS,weblink Russian Parliament approves use of army in Ukraine, The Hindu, 1 March 2014, Vladimir, Radyuhin, Chennai, India, According to Putin, this was done because "Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia".NEWS, Vladimir Putin signs treaty for Russia to take Crimea from Ukraine – video,weblink 28 December 2014, The Guardian, 18 March 2014, After the Russian annexion of Crimea, he said that Ukraine includes "regions of Russia's historic south" and "was created on a whim by the Bolsheviks".NEWS,weblink CBS News, Russia President Vladimir Putin signs treaty to annex Crimea after residents vote to leave Ukraine, 18 March 2014, He went on to declare that the February 2014 ousting of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had been orchestrated by the West as an attempt to weaken Russia. "Our Western partners have crossed a line. They behaved rudely, irresponsibly and unprofessionally," he said, adding that the people who had come to power in Ukraine were "nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites". In a July 2014 speech midst an armed insurgency in Eastern Ukraine, Putin stated he would use Russia's "entire arsenal" and "the right of self defence" to protect Russian speakers outside Russia.NEWS,weblink Has Vladimir Putin blinked over Ukraine?, Daily Telegraph, 7 July 2014, 22 March 2018, With the split of the Ukrainian orthodox church from the Russian one in 2018, a number of experts came to the conclusion that Putin's policy of forceful engagement in post-Soviet republics significantly backfired on him, leading to a situation where he "annexed Crimea, but lost Ukraine", and provoked a much more cautious approach to Russia among other post-Soviet countries.NEWS,weblink Putin has lost Ukraine, US diplomat says, 13 October 2018, en, WEB,weblink Putin Is the Biggest Loser of Orthodox Schism, Bershidsky, Leonid, Bloomberg, File:Wall of Grief - opening ceremony (3).jpg|thumb|left|Putin opens Wall of Grief monument to victims of Stalinist repression, 30 October 2017]]In late August 2014, Putin stated: "People who have their own views on history and the history of our country may argue with me, but it seems to me that the Russian and Ukrainian peoples are practically one people".Putin says Russians and Ukrainians 'practically one people', Reuters (29 August 2014) After making a similar statement, in late December 2015 he stated: "the Ukrainian culture, as well as Ukrainian literature, surely has a source of its own".Putin: Ukrainian Literature Library must not be lost in any circumstances, Interfax-Ukraine (26 December 2015)File:Eurasian Economic Union (orthographic projection) - Crimea disputed - no borders.svg|thumb|The Eurasian Union with its current members: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and KyrgyzstanKyrgyzstanIn August 2008, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili attempted to restore control over the breakaway South Ossetia. However, the Georgian military was soon defeated in the resulting 2008 South Ossetia War after regular Russian forces entered South Ossetia and then Georgia proper, then also opened a second front in the other Georgian breakaway province of Abkhazia with Abkhazian forces.WEB,weblink Russia and Eurasia,, 10 May 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 25 April 2009, dead, NEWS,weblink Day-by-day: Georgia-Russia crisis, BBC News, 21 August 2008, 10 May 2009, Despite existing or past tensions between Russia and most of the post-Soviet states, Putin has followed the policy of Eurasian integration. Putin endorsed the idea of a Eurasian Union in 2011;weblink" title="">New Integration Project for Eurasia – A Future That Is Being Born Today, Izvestiya (3 October 2011)NEWS, Russia's Putin says wants to build "Eurasian Union", Gleb, Bryanski,weblink Yahoo! News, Reuters, 3 October 2011, 4 October 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 October 2011, the concept was proposed by the President of Kazakhstan in 1994.NEWS, Kazakhstan welcomes Putin's Eurasian Union concept,weblink The Daily Telegraph, 6 October 2011, 8 October 2011, London, James, Kilner, On 18 November 2011, the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement setting a target of establishing the Eurasian Union by 2015.NEWS, Russia sees union with Belarus and Kazakhstan by 2015,weblink BBC News, 18 November 2011, 19 November 2011, The Eurasian Union was established on 1 January 2015.WEB,weblink Ru-ru, Eurasian Economic Union, 9 April 2016, dead,weblink 17 April 2016,

United States, Europe, and NATO

{{see also|NATO–Russia relations|Russia–United States relations|Anti-American sentiment in Russia}}File:Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama (2015-09-29) 01.jpg|thumb|Putin meets with U.S. President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaUnder Putin, Russia's relationships with NATO and the U.S. have passed through several stages. When he first became president, relations were cautious, but after the 9/11 attacks Putin quickly supported the U.S. in the War on Terror and the opportunity for partnership appeared.America's Failed (Bi-Partisan) Russia Policy by Stephen F. Cohen, HuffPost However, the U.S. responded by further expansion of NATO to Russia's borders and by unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.From 2003, when Russia did not support the Iraq War and when Putin became ever more distant from the West in his internal and external policies, relations continued to deteriorate. According to Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen, the narrative of the mainstream U.S. media, following that of the White House, became anti-Putin. In an interview with Michael Stürmer, Putin said there were three questions which most concerned Russia and Eastern Europe: namely, the status of Kosovo, the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and American plans to build missile defence sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, and suggested that all three were linked.BOOK, Stuermer, Michael, Michael Stürmer, Putin and the Rise of Russia, 2008, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 978-0297855101,weblink 11 June 2012, 55, 57 & 192, His view was that concessions by the West on one of the questions might be met with concessions from Russia on another.In a January 2007 interview, Putin said Russia was in favor of a democratic multipolar world and strengthening the systems of international law.WEB,weblink Interview for Indian Television Channel Doordarshan and Press Trust of India News Agency,, 18 January 2007, 22 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 May 2008, In February 2007, Putin criticized what he called the United States' monopolistic dominance in global relations, and "almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations". He said the result of it is that "no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them. Of course such a policy stimulates an arms race".WEB,weblink Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy (43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy), 10 February 2007, dead,weblink 9 March 2012, This came to be known as the Munich Speech, and former NATO secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called the speech "disappointing and not helpful."NEWS, Putin's speech: Back to cold war? Putin's speech: Back to cold war?,weblink BBC, Rob, Watson, 10 February 2007, The months following Putin's Munich Speech were marked by tension and a surge in rhetoric on both sides of the Atlantic. Both Russian and American officials, however, denied the idea of a new Cold War.WEB,weblink Munich Conference on Security Policy, As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, 11 February 2007,, 21 December 2013, Putin publicly opposed plans for the U.S. missile shield in Europe and presented President George W. Bush with a counterproposal on 7 June 2007 which was declined.WEB,weblink Press Conference following the end of the G8 Summit,, 8 June 2007, 22 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 May 2008, Russia suspended its participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty on 11 December 2007.WEB, Russia walks away from CFE arms treaty,weblink, 31 July 2015, 12 December 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 December 2015, Putin opposed Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence, warning supporters of that precedent that it would de facto destabilize the whole system of international relations.WEB,weblink EU's Solana rejects Putin's criticism over Kosovo's independence, IRNA, 23 February 2008, 25 February 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 February 2008, NEWS,weblink Putin: supports for Kosovo unilateral independence "immoral, illegal", Xinhua News Agency, 14 February 2008, 25 February 2008, WEB,weblink Putin: Kosovo case terrible precedent, Press TV, 22 February 2008, 25 February 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 March 2008, File:Vladimir Putin 2 April 2002-2.jpg|thumb|Putin with Italian Prime Minister Silvio BerlusconiSilvio BerlusconiPutin had good relations with former American President George W. Bush, and many European leaders. His "cooler" and "more business-like" relationship with Germany's current chancellor, Angela Merkel is often attributed to Merkel's upbringing in the former DDR, where Putin was stationed as a KGB agent.NEWS, Simpson, Emma,weblink Merkel cools Berlin Moscow ties, BBC News, 16 January 2006, 22 June 2013, He had a very friendly and warm relationship with the former Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi;WEB,weblink Subscribe to read, Financial Times, the two leaders often described their relationship as a close friendship, continuing to organize bilateral meetings even after Berlusconi's resignation in November 2011.NEWS,weblink Putin pays late-night visit to 'old friend' Berlusconi, 17 October 2014, In late 2013, Russian-American relations deteriorated further when the United States canceled a summit (for the first time since 1960) after Putin gave asylum to Edward Snowden, who had leaked classified information from the NSA.Shuster, Simon. "The World According to Putin," Time 16 September 2013, pp 30–35Relations were further strained after the 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine and the Annexation of Crimea.WEB,weblink Battle for Ukraine: How the west lost Putin, Financial Times, 25 November 2015, In 2014, Russia was suspended from the G8 group as a result of its annexation of Crimea.U.S., other powers kick Russia out of G8, CNNWEB,weblink Russia Temporarily Kicked Out of G8 Club of Rich Countries, Business Insider, 18 June 2013, 25 March 2014, However, in June 2015, Putin told an Italian newspaper that Russia has no intention of attacking NATO."Russian President Vladimir Putin says ‘only an insane person’ would fear Russian attack on NATO". Daily News. 7 June 2015.File:Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin (2018-05-18) 01.jpg|thumb|Putin held a meeting in Sochi with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Nord Stream 2Nord Stream 2On 9 November 2016, Putin congratulated Donald Trump on becoming the 45th President of the United States.WEB,weblink Putin Congratulates Trump on Victory and Hopeful of Better Ties, 9 November 2016, 18 May 2017, Bloomberg L.P., In December 2016, US intelligence officials (headed by James Clapper) quoted by CBS News stated that Putin approved the email hacking and cyber attacks during the U.S. election, against the democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. A spokesman for Putin denied the reports.WEB,weblink Vladimir Putin likely gave go-ahead for U.S. cyberattack, intelligence officials say, CBS News, 18 May 2017, Putin has repeatedly accused Hillary Clinton, who served as U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, of interfering in Russia's internal affairs,NEWS, Englund, Will, The roots of the hostility between Putin and Clinton,weblink The Washington Post, 28 July 2016, and in December 2016, Clinton accused Putin of having a personal grudge against her."The top four reasons Vladimir Putin might have a grudge against Hillary Clinton". National Post. 16 December 2016."Why Putin hates Hillary". Politico. 26 July 2016.File:Vladimir Putin & Donald Trump in Helsinki, 16 July 2018 (4).jpg|thumb|Talks between U.S. delegation headed by Donald Trump and Russian delegation headed by Putin at the summit in Helsinki, 16 July 2018]]With the election of Trump, Putin's favorability in the U.S. increased. A Gallup poll in February 2017 revealed a positive view of Putin among 22% of Americans, the highest since 2003.NEWS, Putin's Image Rises in US, Mostly Among Republicans,weblink Gallup, 21 February 2017, However, Putin has stated that U.S.–Russian relations, already at the lowest level since the end of the Cold War,NEWS, US-Russia relations fail to improve in Trump's first year and they are likely to get worse,weblink The Independent, 19 January 2018, have continued to deteriorate after Trump took office in January 2017.NEWS, Vladimir Putin says US-Russia relations are worse since Donald Trump took office,weblink The Independent, 12 April 2017,

United Kingdom

In 2003, relations between Russia and the United Kingdom deteriorated when the United Kingdom granted political asylum to Putin's former patron, oligarch Boris Berezovsky. This deterioration was intensified by allegations that the British were spying and making secret payments to pro-democracy and human rights groups.WEB,weblink UK spied on Russians with fake rock, BBC News, 25 November 2015,

Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko

The end of 2006 brought more strained relations in the wake of the death by polonium poisoning of former KGB and FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in London, who became an MI6 agent in 2003. In 2007, the crisis in relations continued with expulsion of four Russian envoys over Russia's refusal to extradite former KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoi to face charges in the murder of Litvinenko.NEWS, Brown Defends Russian Expulsions, Decries Killings, Gonzalo Vina, Sebastian Alison, yes,weblink Bloomberg News, 20 July 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 September 2007, Mirroring the British actions, Russia expelled UK diplomats and took other retaliatory steps.In 2015–16, the British Government conducted an inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko. Its report was released in January 2016.NEWS, Full Report of the Litvinenko Inquiry, 21 January 2016, The New York Times,weblink According to the report, "The FSB operation to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev and also by President Putin." The report outlined some possible motives for the murder, including Litvinenko's public statements and books about the alleged involvement of the FSB in mass murder, and what was "undoubtedly a personal dimension to the antagonism" between Putin and Litvinenko, led to the murder. Media analyst William Dunkerley, writing in The Guardian, criticised the inquiry as politically motivated, biased, lacking in evidence, and logically inconsistent.NEWS, Dunkerley, William, Six reasons you can't take the Litvinenko report seriously,weblink The Guardian, 5 February 2016, The Kremlin dismissed the Inquiry as "a joke" and "whitewash".NEWS, Ward, Victoria, Rayner, Gordon, Whitehead, Tom, Litvinenko Inquiry: David Cameron considers new sanctions against Russia after 'state-sponsored murder' of KGB spy in London,weblink The Daily Telegraph, 21 January 2016, REPORT,weblink The Litvinenko Inquiry. Report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, Robert Owen (Chairman), 2016, 978-1474127349, Poisoning of Sergei SkripalOn 4 March 2018, former double agent Sergei Skripal was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury.WEB,weblink Sergei Skripal: former Russian spy poisoned with nerve agent, say police, Dodd, Vikram, Harding, Luke, 8 March 2018, The Guardian, 17 March 2018, MacAskill, Ewen, 10 days later, the British government formally accused the Russian state of attempted murder, a charge which Russia denied.WEB,weblink Spy poisoning: allies back UK and blast Russia at UN security council, Borger, Julian, 15 March 2018, The Guardian, 17 March 2018, After the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats (an action which would later be responded to with a Russian expulsion of 23 British diplomats),WEB,weblink Sergei Skripal: Russia expels 23 UK diplomats as row deepens, Grierson, Jamie, Wintour, Patrick, 17 March 2018, The Guardian, 17 March 2018, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on 16 March that it was "overwhelmingly likely" Putin had personally ordered the poisoning of Skripal. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the allegation "shocking and unpardonable diplomatic misconduct".WEB,weblink Johnson points finger at Putin for Salisbury spy attack, Fiona Hamilton, Tom Parfitt, Moscow {{!, Sam Coates, Rhys Blakely, Lucy Fisher|access-date=17 March 2018}}

Australia and Latin America

File:Macri putin shaking hands.jpg|thumb|Putin with the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri in Buenos AiresBuenos Aires{{see also|Australia–Russia relations|Russia–Venezuela relations|Cuba–Russia relations|Argentina–Russia relations}}Putin and his successor, Medvedev, enjoyed warm relations with the late Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. Much of this has been through the sale of military equipment; since 2005, Venezuela has purchased more than $4 billion worth of arms from Russia.Russia Forges Nuclear Links With Venezuela {{Webarchive|url= |date=10 November 2013 }} France 24
In September 2008, Russia sent Tupolev Tu-160 bombers to Venezuela to carry out training flights.NEWS,weblink World – Americas – Russian bombers land in Venezuela, BBC, 25 November 2015, In November 2008, both countries held a joint naval exercise in the Caribbean. Earlier in 2000, Putin had re-established stronger ties with Fidel Castro's Cuba.NEWS, Putin, in Cuba, Signals Priority of Ties to U.S.,weblink The New York Times, Patrick, Tyler, 16 December 2000, 23 August 2016,
In September 2007, Putin visited Indonesia and in doing so became the first Russian leader to visit the country in more than 50 years.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 12 October 2007, Russia Courts Indonesia,, 12 October 2007, 24 September 2011, In the same month, Putin also attended the APEC meeting held in Sydney where he met with John Howard, who was the Australian Prime Minister at the time, and signed a uranium trade deal for Australia to sell uranium to Russia. This was the first visit by a Russian president to Australia.NEWS, Phillip Coorey, Putin and Howard Sign Uranium Deal,weblink 14 October 2014, The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 September 2007,

Middle East and North Africa

{{see also|Israel–Russia relations}}On 16 October 2007, Putin visited Iran to participate in the Second Caspian Summit in Tehran,Putin: Iran Has Right to Develop Peaceful Nuclear Programme {{Webarchive|url= |date=6 April 2008 }}, 16 October 2007, Rbc.ruNEWS, Putin's warning to the U.S., Reuters, 16 October 2007,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 17 October 2007, where he met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.WEB,weblink ru:Владимир Путин положительно оценил итоги Второго Каспийского саммита на встрече с Президентом Ирана Махмудом Ахмадинежадом, Vladimir Putin assessed the results of the Second Caspian Summit positively on meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ru,, 16 October 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 May 2008, WEB,weblink ru:Визит в Исламскую Республику Иран. Второй Каспийский саммит, Visit to Iran. Second Caspian Summit, ru,, 16 October 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 May 2008, This was the first visit of a Soviet or Russian leaderLeonid Brezhnev travelled to shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's Iran in 1963, but at that time he was not yet the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, NEWS, Putin confirms Iran visit, brushes off 'plot' reports,weblink Lebanon Wire, 15 October 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 October 2015, to Iran since Joseph Stalin's participation in the Tehran Conference in 1943, and thus marked a significant event in Iran-Russia relations.Vladimir Putin defies assassination threats to make historic visit to Tehran, 16 October 2007, The Times. At a press conference after the summit Putin said that "all our (Caspian) states have the right to develop their peaceful nuclear programmes without any restrictions".WEB,weblink Answer to a Question at the Joint Press Conference Following the Second Caspian Summit,, 16 October 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 May 2008, File:2017-03-28 Vladimir Putin and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani.jpg|thumb|left|Putin with Iranian President Hassan RouhaniHassan RouhaniSubsequently, under Medvedev's presidency, Iran-Russia relations were uneven: Russia did not fulfill the contract of selling to Iran the S-300, one of the most potent anti-aircraft missile systems currently existing. However, Russian specialists completed the construction of Iran and the Middle East's first civilian nuclear power facility, the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, and Russia has continuously opposed the imposition of economic sanctions on Iran by the U.S. and the EU, as well as warning against a military attack on Iran. Putin was quoted as describing Iran as a "partner", though he expressed concerns over the Iranian nuclear programme.In April 2008, Putin became the first Russian President who visited Libya.WEB,weblink Putin's visit 'historic and strategic', Gulf News, 18 April 2008, 22 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 14 May 2013, dead, Putin condemned the foreign military intervention of Libya, he called UN resolution as "defective and flawed," and added "It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades."NEWS,weblink HuffPost, Cara, Parks, Putin: Military Intervention In Libya Resembles 'Crusades', 21 March 2011, WEB,weblink Putin states the West has no legal right to execute Gaddafi, RT, Russia, 26 April 2011, 22 June 2013, Upon the death of Muammar Gaddafi, Putin called it as "planned murder" by the US, saying: "They showed to the whole world how he (Gaddafi) was killed," and "There was blood all over. Is that what they call a democracy?"WEB, James, Crugnale,weblink Vladimir Putin Blames US Drones For Gaddafi Death, Slams John McCain,, 15 December 2011, 22 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 4 January 2012, WEB, Citizen, Ottawa,weblink Putin claims U.S. planned murder of Gadhafi,, 16 December 2011, 22 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 October 2013, File:Meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu 3.jpg|thumb|Putin with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin NetanyahuRegarding Syria, from 2000 to 2010 Russia sold around $1.5 billion worth of arms to that country, making Damascus Moscow's seventh-largest client.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Dmitri, Trenin, Why Russia Supports Assad, 9 February 2012, During the Syrian civil war, Russia threatened to veto any sanctions against the Syrian government,WEB, Fred Weir,weblink Why Russia is willing to sell arms to Syria, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 January 2012, 22 June 2013, and continued to supply arms to the regime.Putin opposed any foreign intervention. In June 2012, in Paris, he rejected the statement of French President François Hollande who called on Bashar Al-Assad to step down. Putin echoed Assad's argument that anti-regime militants were responsible for much of the bloodshed. He also talked about previous NATO interventions and their results, and asked "What is happening in Libya, in Iraq? Did they become safer? Where are they heading? Nobody has an answer".WEB, Viscusi, Gregory,weblink Hollande Clashes With Putin Over Ouster of Syria's Assad, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 1 June 2012, 22 June 2013, On 11 September 2013, The New York Times published an op-ed by Putin urging caution against US intervention in Syria and criticizing American exceptionalism.NEWS, Putin, Vladimir V., A Plea for Caution From Russia,weblink 11 September 2013, The New York Times, 11 September 2013, Putin subsequently helped to arrange for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.NEWS,weblink Putin says US, Russia agree on how to destroy Syria's chemical weapons, The Jerusalem Post, 8 October 2013, In 2015, he took a stronger pro-Assad stanceWEB,weblink Putin's Syria Gambit Could Be His Waterloo, Melik Kaylan, Forbes, and mobilized military support for the regime. Some analysts have summarized Putin as being allied with Shiites and Alawites in the Middle East.NEWS,weblink Forbes, Melik, Kaylan, Is Putin About To Invade Ukraine?, BOOK, Pedler, John, A Word Before Leaving: A Former Diplomat's Weltanschauung, 2015, 129, In October 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the United Arab Emirates, where six agreements were struck with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. One of them included shared investments between Russian sovereign wealth fund and the Emirati investment fund Mubadala. The two nations signed deals worth over $1.3bn, in energy, health and advance technology sectors._WEB,weblink Vladimir Putin signs deals worth $1.3bn during UAE visit, 17 October 2019, Young Herald,

BRICS Summit

President Putin has attended the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit conferences since 2013.

Comparison to Hitler

Many well known politicians and people from other categories have compared Vladimir Putin to Nazi German Führer Adolf Hitler. It is often related to the activity against Ukraine and the violation of international law. Among them are Prince Charles, Hillary Clinton, Wolfgang Schaeuble, Mikheil Saakashvili, Vladislav Inozemtsev, Zbigniew Brzezinski, John McCain, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Stephen Harper, Garry Kasparov, Charles Lane, David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Dalia Grybauskaite, Bronisław Komorowski, Arkady Babchenko, Savik Shuster, Stephen Fry, Ian Austin, Andrey Piontkovsky, Boris Nemtsov, Nikolay Fyodorov, Carl Bildt, Petro Poroshenko, and Herta Müller. The Crimean speech of the Russian President played a role for some comparisons on the Ukrainian issue.11 Prominent People Who Compared Putin To Hitler (23 May 2014)Putin Is Like Hitler: Polish President compares Russian leader to Nazi dictator (1 September 2014)The Russian journalist has compared Putin to Hitler (22.02.2017)Lithuanian President: 'Comparisons between Vladimir Putin and Hitler are spot on' (24 June 2014)CHILLING: Comparing Speeches by Putin and Hitler (31 October 2014)Stephen Fry calls for ban on Winter Olympics in Russia over anti-gay laws (7 August 2013)Boris Johnson compares Putin and Russia World Cup to Hitler hosting the 1936 Olympics (21 March 2018)Немцов за день до своей смерти предсказал Путину судьбу Гитлера: видео (3 March 2015, RU)'We reject Soviet-style parading of military might' (3. May 2015)Президент Чувашии сравнил Путина с Гитлером (9 November 2000, RU)Нобелевский лауреат Герта Мюллер сравнила Путина с Гитлером и обвинила в убийстве Немцова, «даже если не он отдавал приказ» (06/03/2015, RU)Sweden’s Foreign (Ethnic) Minister Carl Bildt renews old ties with Hillary Clinton (2009-05-09)

Public image

Polls and rankings

(File:Putin Approval Rating 1999-2014.jpg|thumb|Putin's approval (blue) and disapproval (red) ratings 1999–2015. Putin reached an all-time high approval rating in June 2015 of 89%.)According to a June 2007 public opinion survey, Putin's approval rating was 81%, the second highest of any leader in the world that year.NEWS, Madslien, Jorn,weblink Russia's economic might: spooky or soothing?, BBC News, 4 July 2007, 2 March 2010, In January 2013, at the time of 2011–2013 Russian protests, Putin's approval rating fell to 62%, the lowest figure since 2000 and a ten-point drop over two years.NEWS, Arkhipov, Ilya,weblink Putin Approval Rating Falls to Lowest Since 2000: Poll, Bloomberg, 24 January 2013, 22 June 2013, By May 2014, following the annexation of Crimea, Putin's approval rating had rebounded to 85.9%, a six-year high.NEWS,weblink Putin's Approval Rating Reaches Six-Year High – Poll, RIA Novosti, 15 May 2014, After EU and U.S. sanctions against Russian officials as a result of the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine, Putin's approval rating reached 87 percent, according to a Levada Center survey published on 6 August 2014.WEB,weblink Августовские рейтинги одобрения – Левада-Центр, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 August 2014, NEWS,weblink Putin's Approval Rating Soars to 87%, Poll Says, The Moscow Times, 25 November 2015, In February 2015, based on new domestic polling, Putin was ranked the world's most popular politician.NEWS, The world's most popular politicians: Putin's approval rating hits 86%,weblink Independent, 27 February 2015, In June 2015, Putin's approval rating climbed to 89%, an all-time high.NEWS, Vladimir Putin's approval rating at record levels,weblink The Guardian, 23 July 2015, NEWS, ru:Июльские рейтинги одобрения и доверия,weblink Levada Centre, 23 July 2015, Russian, NEWS, Putin's approval ratings hit 89 percent, the highest they've ever been,weblink The Washington Post, 24 June 2015, In 2016, the approval rating was 81%.WEB,weblink Economic Problems, Corruption Fail to Dent Putin's Image, Gallup, Inc.,, 18 May 2017, Observers see Putin's high approval ratings as a consequence of significant improvements in living standards, and Russia's reassertion of itself on the world scene during his presidency.WEB,weblink Quarter of Russians Think Living Standards Improved During Putin's Rule, ru,, 22 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 July 2013, weblink" title="">No wonder they like Putin by Norman Stone, 4 December 2007, The Times.Despite high approval for Putin, confidence in the Russian economy is low, dropping to levels in 2016 that rivaled the recent lows in 2009 at the height of the global economic crisis. Just 14% of Russians in 2016 said their national economy was getting better, and 18% said this about their local economies.WEB,weblink Economic Problems, Corruption Fail to Dent Putin's Image, Gallup, Inc.,, 7 June 2017, Putin's performance at reining in corruption is also unpopular among Russians. Newsweek reported in June 2017 that "An opinion poll by the Moscow-based Levada Center indicated that 67 percent held Putin personally responsible for high-level corruption".WEB,weblink Alexei Navalny: Is Russia's Anti-Corruption Crusader Vladimir Putin's Kryptonite?, Newsweek, 7 June 2017, In July 2018, Putin's approval rating fell to 63% and just 49% would vote for Putin if presidential elections were held.NEWS,weblink Successful World Cup fails to halt slide in Vladimir Putin's popularity, 16 July 2018, The Guardian, Levada poll results published in September 2018 showed Putin's personal trustworthiness levels at 39% (decline from 59% in November 2017)NEWS,weblink Trust in Putin Drops to 39% as Russians Face Later Retirement, Poll Says, 10 October 2018, en, with the main contributing factor being the presidential support of the unpopular pension reform and economic stagnation.NEWS,weblink Disquiet on the Home Front: Kremlin Propagandists Struggle to Contain the Fallout from Pension Reform and Local Elections, 1 October 2018, Disinfo Portal, 10 October 2018, en-US, NEWS,weblink Things are going wrong for Vladimir Putin, The Economist, 10 October 2018, en, In October 2018, two thirds of Russians surveyed in Levada poll agreed that "Putin bears full responsibility for the problems of the country" which has been attributedWEB,weblink "Левада-Центр": две трети россиян считают, что в проблемах страны виноват Путин,, 22 November 2018, to decline of a popular belief in "good tsar and bad boyars", a traditional attitude towards justifying failures of top of ruling hierarchy in Russia.NEWS,weblink Refworld {{!, 'Good Tsar, Bad Boyars': Popular Attitudes and Azerbaijan's Future|last=Refugees|first=United Nations High Commissioner for|work=Refworld|access-date=22 November 2018|language=en}}In January 2019, the percentage of Russians trusting the president hit a then-historic minimum – 33.4%.WEB,weblink Рейтинг доверия Путину достиг исторического минимума. Он упал вдвое с 2015 года, Inc, TV Rain, 18 January 2019,, 19 January 2019, It declined further to 31.7% in May 2019NEWS,weblink Russians’ trust in Putin has plummeted. But that’s not the Kremlin’s only problem., 2019, The Washington Post, which led to a dispute between the VCIOM and President's administration office, who accused it of incorrectly using an open question, after which VCIOM repeated the poll with a closed question getting 72.3%.NEWS,weblink Is Putin's popularity in decline?, Fokht, Elizaveta, 2019-06-20, 2019-06-20, en-GB, Nonetheless, in April 2019 Gallup poll showed a record number of Russians (20%) willing to permanently emigrate from Russia.WEB,weblink Record 20% of Russians Say They Would Like to Leave Russia, Inc, Gallup,, en-us, 2019-04-23, The decline is even larger in the 17-25 age group, "who find themselves largely disconnected from the country’s aging leadership, nostalgic Soviet rhetoric and nepotistic agenda", according to a report prepared by Vladimir Milov. The percentage of people willing to emigrate permanently in this age group is 41% and 60% has favorable views on the United States (three times more than in the 55+ age group).WEB,weblink How Putin and the Kremlin lost Russian youths, Washington Post, Decline in support for President and the government is also visible in other polls, such as rapidly growing readiness to protest against poor living conditions.File:Anti-Corruption Rally in Saint Petersburg (2017-03-26) 12.jpg|thumb|The Levada Center survey showed that 58% of surveyed Russians supported the 2017 Russian protests against high-level corruption."Акции протеста 12 июня". Levada CentreLevada Centre


Critics state that Putin has moved Russia in an autocratic direction.WEB,weblink 15 Years of Vladimir Putin: 15 Ways He Has Changed Russia and the World, The Guardian, 6 May 2015, Putin has been described as a "dictator" by political opponent Garry Kasparov, as a "bully" and "arrogant" by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and as "self-centered" and an "isolationist" by the Dalai Lama.WEB,weblink Garry Kasparov: How the United States and Its Western Allies Propped Up Putin, Garry Kasparov, The Atlantic, 9 April 2016, WEB,weblink Hillary Clinton Describes Relationship With Putin: 'It's... interesting', 17 January 2016, Politico, 14 April 2016, WEB, Hillary Clinton: Putin is Arrogant and Tough,weblink YouTube, GPS with Fareed Zakaria, 27 July 2014, 15 July 2016, NEWS, President Vladimir Putin on Sec. Hillary Clinton,weblink CNN, 15 July 2016, WEB,weblink Dalai Lama attacks 'self-centered' Vladimir Putin, 7 September 2014, The Daily Telegraph, 9 April 2016, Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote in 2014 that the West has demonized Putin.NEWS,weblink Henry Kissinger, How The Ukraine Crisis Ends, The Washington Post, 5 March 2014, Many Russians credit Putin for reviving Russia's fortunes.WEB,weblink Mikhail Gorbachev claims Vladimir Putin saved Russia from falling apart, International Business Times, 27 December 2014, Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, while acknowledging the flawed democratic procedures and restrictions on media freedom during the Putin presidency, said that Putin had pulled Russia out of chaos at the end of the Yeltsin years, and that Russians "must remember that Putin saved Russia from the beginning of a collapse."NEWS, Doug, Struck,weblink Gorbachev Applauds Putin's Achievements, The Washington Post, 5 December 2007, In 2015, opposition politician Boris Nemtsov said that Putin was turning Russia into a "raw materials colony" of China.WEB,weblink Decoding Vladimir Putin's Plan, U.S. News & World Report, 5 January 2015, Chechen Republic head and Putin supporter, Ramzan Kadyrov, states that Putin saved both the Chechen people and Russia.State Building in Putin’s Russia: Policing and Coercion after Communism p. 278, Brian D. Taylor. Cambridge University Press, 2011.Russia has suffered democratic backsliding during Putin's tenure. Freedom House has listed Russia as being "not free" since 2005.WEB,weblink Russia {{!, Country report {{!}} Freedom in the World {{!}} 2005||access-date=30 December 2016}} In 2004, Freedom House warned that Russia's "retreat from freedom marks a low point not registered since 1989, when the country was part of the Soviet Union."WEB,weblink Russia Downgraded to 'Not Free' {{!, Freedom House||access-date=30 December 2016}} The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Russia as "authoritarian" since 2011,WEB,weblink Democracy Index 2015: Democracy in an age of anxiety, whereas it had previously been considered a "hybrid regime" (with "some form of democratic government" in place) as late as 2007.NEWS,weblink Index of democracy by Economist Intelligence Unit, Kekic, Laza, The Economist, 27 December 2007, According to political scientist, Larry Diamond, writing in 2015, "no serious scholar would consider Russia today a democracy".JOURNAL, Diamond, Larry, 1 January 2015, Facing Up to the Democratic Recession, Journal of Democracy, 26, 1, 141–155, 10.1353/jod.2015.0009, 1086-3214,

Personal image

File:Putin drives Formula 1.png|thumb|right|Driving a F1 race car, 2010 ((:File:Vladimir Putin driving a Formula 1.ogv|see video))]]File:Vladimir Putin at G8 Summit 2000-12.jpg|thumb|upright|Putin practises judojudoPutin cultivates an outdoor, sporty, tough guy public image, demonstrating his physical prowess and taking part in unusual or dangerous acts, such as extreme sports and interaction with wild animals,WEB, Bass, Sadie,weblink Putin Bolsters Tough Guy Image With Shirtless Photos, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC News, 5 August 2009, 22 June 2013, part of a public relations approach that, according to Wired, "deliberately cultivates the macho, take-charge superhero image".NEWS, Rawnsley, Adam, Pow! Zam! Nyet! 'Superputin' Battles Terrorists, Protesters in Online Comic,weblink 27 May 2011, Wired (magazine), Wired, 26 May 2011, For example, in 2007, the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda published a huge photograph of a bare-chested Putin vacationing in the Siberian mountains under the headline: "Be Like Putin."NEWS, Associated Press,weblink Putin gone wild: Russia abuzz over pics of shirtless leader., Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 22 August 2007, 2 March 2010, Some of the activities have been criticised for being staged.Vladimir Putin diving discovery was staged, spokesman admits, The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 March 2012NEWS,weblink Russians smell something fishy in Putin's latest stunt, Reuters, 12 August 2013, 29 July 2013, Outside of Russia, Putin's macho image has been the subject of parody.NEWS, Boris, Kavic, Marja, Novak, Jeremy, Gaunt,weblink Slovenian comedian rocks with Putin parody; Trump to follow, Reuters, 8 March 2016, 21 May 2017, WEB,weblink A senile Putin becomes a parody of his own parody – The Spectator, 19 March 2016, The Spectator, 18 May 2017, WEB, 2015,weblink The Guardian, Let Putin be your fitness inspiration hero, Putin is believed to be self conscious about his height which has been estimated by Kremlin insiders at between 155 cm (5 ft 2 in) and 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) tall, but is usually given at 170 cm (5 ft 7 in).WEB,weblink Left a little short: Putin left red-faced as Kremlin photo gaffe exposes his small height, Batchelor, Tom, 11 March 2015,, en, 7 December 2018, WEB,weblink Does Putin Suffer From the Napoleon Complex?, Van Vugt, Mark, 7 May 2014, Psychology Today, en-US, 7 December 2018, WEB,weblink Statesmen and stature: how tall are our world leaders?, 18 October 2011, The Guardian, en, 27 December 2018, Notable examples of Putin's adventures include:7 Reasons Vladimir Putin Is the World's Craziest Badass flying military jets, demonstrating martial arts, riding horses, rafting, and fishing and swimming in a cold Siberian river, many of which he did bare chested. Other examples are descending in a deepwater submersible, tranquilizing tigers and polar bears,Организаторы сафари для Путина объяснились по поводу "подставы с тигром": "Кому-то что-то показалось". 15 March 2012.Putin attaches satellite tag to tranquilized polar bear in Russia's Arctic. Fox News Channel. 29 April 2010. riding a motorbike,NEWS,weblink 3 News NZ, Finland Accidentally Bans Putin, 11 April 2013, 12 April 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 21 October 2013, dead, dmy-all,
co-piloting a firefighting plane to dump water on a raging fire, shooting darts at whales from a crossbow for eco-tracking,WEB, 26 August 2010,weblink Using crossbow, Putin fires darts at whale, NBC News, driving a race car,WEB,weblink Премьер-гонка: Владимир Путин протестировал болид "Формулы-1",, 17 March 2012, 7 May 2012, scuba diving at an archaeological site,Путин погрузился с аквалангом на дно Таманского залива attempting to lead endangered cranes in a motorized hang glider,Vladimir Putin leads endangered cranes on migration route in hang glider The Guardian and catching large fish.NEWS,weblink Russians smell something fishy in Putin's latest stunt, Reuters, 12 August 2013, 29 July 2013, NEWS,weblink Putin's Big Fish Story Leaves Russians in Doubt, Bloomberg, 12 August 2013,
There are many songs about Putin.WEB,weblink Песни про Путина,, 14 March 2008, 7 May 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 September 2009, Some of the well-known include: "Go Hard Like Vladimir Putin" by K. King and Beni Maniaci,WEB,weblink ru:Чернокожие рэперы записали трек в поддержку Владимира Путина, LifeNews, Russian, 10 June 2014, 7 April 2015, "VVP" by Tajik singer Tolibjon Kurbankhanov,{{YouTube|RcnQ9imDrWk|ВВП}}WATCH: No One In Russia Can Work Out If This Pro-Putin Dance-Pop Song Is Sincere – Or Satire {{Webarchive|url= |date=7 February 2013 }}
"Our Madhouse is Voting for Putin" by Working Faculty and "A Song About Putin" by the Russian Airborne Troops band.NEWS,weblink Russia Protest Song: Veterans Rock Anti-Putin Rally With A Catchy Tune, HuffPost, 21 March 2015, 5 February 2012, There is also "Putin khuilo!", the song, originally emerged as chants by Ukrainian football fans and spread in Ukraine (among supporters of Euromaidan), then in other countries.WEB,weblink Экскурс в историю одной кричалки, или подробнее о том, что значит смех без причины, Дарья Зайцева, 20 June 2014,, 25 November 2015, A song called "A Man Like Putin" by Poyushchie vmeste was also a hit across Russia, topping the Russian Music Charts in 2002.WEB,weblink PBS Launches New Global Music Series, 19 August 2010, 7 December 2009, National Geographic Music News, National Geographic Society, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 February 2012,
Putin's name and image are widely used in advertisement and product branding. Among the Putin-branded products are Putinka vodka, the PuTin brand of canned food, the Gorbusha Putina caviar and a collection of T-shirts with his image.Как используется бренд "Путин": зажигалки, икра, футболки, консервированный перец Gazeta 30 November 2007.In 2015, his advisor was found dead after days of excessive consumption of alcohol, though this was later ruled an accident.WEB,weblink Vladimir Putin's advisor found dead, 28 October 2016,

Publication recognition in the United States

In 2007, he was the Time Person of the Year.NEWS, Person of the Year 2007,weblink Time, 2007, 8 July 2009, WEB, Putin Answers Questions From Time Magazine,weblink YouTube, 20 December 2007, 21 June 2016, In 2015, he was No. 1 on the Time's Most Influential People List.NEWS, Druzhinin, Alexei, Vladimir Putin Steals The Show in TIME 100 Magazine Reader's Poll,weblink Russia Today (RT), 14 April 2015, 27 June 2016, MAGAZINE,weblink Vladimir Putin – The Russian Leader Who Truly Tests The West, Madeleinedate=23 April 2014 accessdate=2 November 2016, HTTP://WWW.NEWSWEEK.COM/PUTIN-SMART-TRULY-EVIL-MAN-SAYS-MADELEINE-ALBRIGHT-450332 >TITLE=PUTIN IS A 'SMART BUT TRULY EVIL MAN,' SAYS MADELEINE ALBRIGHT LAST1=SHARKOV MAGAZINE=NEWSWEEKForbes ranked him the Forbes list of The World's Most Powerful People>World's Most Powerful Individual every year from 2013 to 2016.THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE 2016>URL=HTTPS://WWW.FORBES.COM/SITES/DAVIDEWALT/2016/12/14/THE-WORLDS-MOST-POWERFUL-PEOPLE-2016/DATE=14 DECEMBER 2016, For the fourth consecutive year, Forbes ranked Russian President Vladimir Putin as the world's most powerful person. From the motherland to Syria to the U.S. presidential elections, Russia's leader continues to get what he wants.,


Putin has produced many aphorisms and catch-phrases known as putinisms.{{citation|url=|trans-title=Putinism – "Thoughtful personal outrageous"?|script-title=ru:Путинизмы – "продуманный личный эпатаж"?|publisher=BBC Russian|language=ru|first=Cyril|last=Sukhotsky|date=5 March 2004|accessdate=29 January 2017}} Many of them were first made during his annual Q&A conferences, where Putin answered questions from journalists and other people in the studio, as well as from Russians throughout the country, who either phoned in or spoke from studios and outdoor sites across Russia. Putin is known for his often tough and sharp language, often alluding to Russian jokes and folk sayings.Putin sometimes uses Russian criminal jargon (fenya), not always correctly.{{citation|url=|script-title=ru:Кирилл Харатьян: Жаргон Владимира Путина|work= ({{transl|ru|}})|language=ru|first=Kirill|last=Kharatyan|trans-title=Vladimir Putin's Jargon|date=25 December 2012|accessdate=29 January 2017}}

Electoral history

Personal life


File:Vladimir Putin wedding-2.jpg|thumb|upright=0.75|Putin and Lyudmila PutinaLyudmila PutinaFile:Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin visiting the Taj Mahal.jpg|right|thumb|Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin visiting the Taj Mahal, Agra, (India]], October 2000WEB,weblink Russian President Vladimir Putin Visits Taj Mahal, Agra, Indiawebsite=The Associated Press – Video Archivesaccessdate=22 March 2017, HTTP://EN.KREMLIN.RU/EVENTS/PRESIDENT/NEWS/39498 >TITLE=RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN VISITS TAJ MAHAL, AGRA, INDIA PUBLISHER=THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW, RUSSIA, 22 March 2017, )On 28 July 1983, Putin married Lyudmila Shkrebneva, and they lived together in East Germany from 1985 to 1990. They have two daughters, Mariya Putina, born 28 April 1985 in Leningrad, and Yekaterina Putina, born 31 August 1986 in Dresden, East Germany.BOOK, Sakwa, Richard, Putin: Russia's Choice, 2007, Routledge, 978-1134133451, 2,weblink On 6 June 2013, Putin announced that their marriage was over, and, on 1 April 2014, the Kremlin confirmed that the divorce had been finalized.NEWS, Russia President Vladimir Putin's Divorce Finalized,weblink 2 April 2014, BBC News, 2 April 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 2 April 2014, dead, NEWS,weblink USA Today, Cooper, Allen, Putin Divorce Finalized, Kremlin says, 2 April 2014, NEWS,weblink Putin Has Vanished, but Rumors Are Popping Up Everywhere, 13 March 2015, Neil, MacFarquahar, The New York Times, 7 April 2017, His cousin, Igor Putin, was a director at Moscow based Master Bank and was accused in a number of money laundering scandals.WEB,weblink How the Danske Bank money-laundering scheme involving $230 billion unraveled,, en, 2019-06-10, WEB,weblink OCCRP - The Russian Banks and Putin's Cousin,, 2019-06-10,

Personal wealth

{{see also|Panama Papers}}Official figures released during the legislative election of 2007 put Putin's wealth at approximately 3.7 million rubles (US$150,000) in bank accounts, a private {{convert|77.4|m2|adj=on|sqft|sp=us}} apartment in Saint Petersburg, and miscellaneous other assets.MAGAZINE,weblink Is Vladimir Putin Secretly the Richest Man in the World?first1=Rob magazine=Time Magazine PUBLISHER=QUOTE.RUURL-STATUS=DEADARCHIVEDATE=26 OCTOBER 2007, Putin's reported 2006 income totaled 2 million rubles (approximately $80,000). In 2012, Putin reported an income of 3.6 million rubles ($113,000).ЦИК зарегистрировал список "ЕР" Rossiyskaya Gazeta N 4504 27 October 2007ЦИК раскрыл доходы Путина Vzglyad 26 October 2007Putin has been photographed wearing a number of expensive wristwatches, collectively valued at $700,000, nearly six times his annual salary.NEWS,weblink Putin's Extravagant $700,000 Watch Collection, 8 June 2012, ABC News, 1 February 2019, Kirit, Radia, NEWS,weblink 23 June 2017, 1 February 2019, How Vladimir Putin spends his mysterious fortune rumoured to be worth $70 billion, The Independent, Mary, Hanbury, Putin has been known on occasion to give watches valued at thousands of dollars as gifts to peasants and factory workers.NEWS,weblink Vice (magazine), Vice, 17 September 2013, Why Does Vladimir Putin Keep Giving His Watches Away to Peasants?, Oscar, Rickett, 1 February 2019, According to Russian opposition politicians and journalists, Putin secretly possesses a multi-billion dollar fortuneNEWS, Is Vladimir Putin the richest man on earth?,weblink, 26 September 2013, WEB,weblink What is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s net worth?, Joyce, Kathleen, 2019-06-29, FOXBusiness, en-US, 2019-06-30, via successive ownership of stakes in a number of Russian companies.Gennadi Timchenko: Russia's most low-profile billionaire Sobesednik â„– 10, 7 March 2007NEWS,weblink Putin, the Kremlin power struggle and the $40bn fortune, The Guardian, 21 December 2007, Harding, Luke, 18 August 2008, London, According to one editorial in The Washington Post, "Putin might not technically own these 43 aircraft, but, as the sole political power in Russia, he can act like they're his".WEB, Is Vladimir Putin hiding a $200 billion fortune? (And if so, does it matter?),weblink The Washington Post, 19 March 2017, Russian RIA journalist argued that "[Western] intelligence agencies (...) could not find anything". These contradictory claims were analyzed by Polygraph.infoWEB,weblink Are ‘Putin’s Billions’ a Myth?, William Echols, May 14, 2019,, May 16, 2019, which looked at a number of reports by Western (Anders Ã…slund estimate of $100–160 billion) and Russian (Stanislav Belkovsky estimated of $40 billion) analysts, CIA (estimate of $40 billion in 2007) as well as counterarguments of Russian media. Polygraph concluded:In April 2016, 11 million documents belonging to Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were leaked to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The name of Vladimir Putin does not appear in any of the records, and Putin denied his involvement with the company.NEWS,weblink ru:Прямая линия с Владимиром Путиным состоится 14 апреля в 12 часов, 8 April 2016, Echo of Moscow, Russian, 8 April 2016, However, various media have reported on three of Putin's associates on the list.NEWS, Revealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin,weblink The Guardian, London, 3 April 2016, Luke Harding, According to the Panama Papers leak, close trustees of Putin own offshore companies worth US$2 billion in total.Der Zirkel der Macht von Vladimir Putin, Süddeutsche Zeitung The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung regards the possibility of Putin's family profiting from this money as plausible.Wladimir Putin und seine Freunde, Süddeutsche ZeitungRevealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin, The GuardianAccording to the paper, the US$2 billion had been "secretly shuffled through banks and shadow companies linked to Putin's associates", and Bank Rossiya, previously identified by the U.S. State Department as being treated by Putin as his personal bank account, had been central in facilitating this. It concludes that "Putin has shown he is willing to take aggressive steps to maintain secrecy and protect [such] communal assets."WEB,weblink All Putin's Men: Secret Records Reveal Money Network Tied to Russian Leader,, 4 April 2016, WEB,weblink Panama Papers: Putin associates linked to 'money laundering', BBC News, 4 April 2016, A significant proportion of the money trail leads to Putin's best friend Sergei Roldugin. Although a musician, and in his own words, not a businessman, it appears he has accumulated assets valued at $100m, and possibly more. It has been suggested he was picked for the role because of his low profile. There have been speculations that Putin, in fact, owns the funds,WEB,weblink The Panama Papers show how corruption really works in Russia, Galeotti, Mark, 4 April 2016, Vox Business and Finance, 8 April 2016, and Roldugin just acted as a proxy. Putin himself denied it,NEWS,weblink Panama Papers: Putin rejects corruption allegations, 7 April 2016, BBC, 8 April 2016, and his press-secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said the leak was a conspiracy aimed at Putin.WEB,weblink Kremlin dismisses revelations in Panama Papers as 'Putinphobia', Harding, Luke, 4 April 2016, The Guardian, 8 April 2016,


Official government residences

As president and prime-minister, Putin has lived in numerous official residences throughout the country.WEB,weblink Russian Leaders Not Swapping Residences, 5 March 2012, Olga, Solovyova, The Moscow Times, Russia, 22 March 2017, These residences include: the Moscow Kremlin, Novo-Ogaryovo in Moscow Oblast, the White House in Moscow, {{ill|Gorki-9|ru|Горки-9|vertical-align=sup}} near Moscow, Bocharov Ruchey in Sochi, {{ill|Dolgiye Borody|ru|Долгие Бороды (резиденция)|vertical-align=sup}} in Novgorod Oblast, and Riviera in Sochi.WEB,weblink Тайна за семью заборами,, 22 June 2013, In August 2012, critics of President Vladimir Putin listed the ownership of 20 villas and palaces, nine of which were built during Putin's 12 years in power.NEWS,weblink Vladimir Putin 'Galley Slave' Lifestyle: Palaces, Planes and a $75,000 Toilet, The Guardian, 28 August 2012, London, Miriam, Elder, 28 August 2012,

Personal residences

Soon after Putin returned from his KGB service in Dresden, East Germany, he built a dacha in Solovyovka on the eastern shore of Lake Komsomolskoye on the Karelian Isthmus in Priozersky District of Leningrad Oblast, near St. Petersburg. After the dacha burned down in 1996, Putin built a new one identical to the original and was joined by a group of seven friends who built dachas nearby. In 1996, the group formally registered their fraternity as a co-operative society, calling it Ozero ("Lake") and turning it into a gated community.How the 1980s Explains Vladimir Putin. The Ozero group. By Fiona Hill & Clifford G. Gaddy, The Atlantic, 14 February 2013A massive Italianate-style mansion costing an alleged US$1 billionNEWS,weblink 'Putin Palace' Sells for US$350 Million, The Daily Telegraph, 3 March 2011, 5 May 2012, London, Our, Foreign, and dubbed "Putin's Palace" is under construction near the Black Sea village of Praskoveevka. The mansion, built on government land and sporting 3 helipads, and a private road paid for from state funds and guarded by officials wearing uniforms of the official Kremlin guard service, is said to have been built for Putin's private use.{{by whom|date=April 2016}} In 2012, Sergei Kolesnikov, a former business associate of Putin's, told the BBC's Newsnight programme that he had been ordered by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin to oversee the building of the palace.NEWS,weblink Putin's Palace? A Mystery Black Sea Mansion Fit for a Tsar, BBC, 4 May 2012, 4 May 2012, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed Kolesnikov's allegations against Putin as untrue, saying that "Putin has never had any relationship to this palace."WEB,weblink Putin's spokesman dismisses report of palace on Black Sea, 23 December 2010, RIA Novosti,


(File:Vladimir Putin 24 March 2013 (9).jpeg|thumb|Putin with Yume and Buffy in 2013)Putin's female black Labrador Retriever Konni was often seen at the President's side, and was sometimes allowed to attend meetings when Putin greeted world leaders during their visits to Russia.Putin has four dogs, Buffy, Yume, Verni and Pasha. Buffy, a Karakachan dog, was given to President Putin in November 2010 by the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov. Yume is an Akita Inu dog which arrived in Moscow in July 2012 as a three-month-old puppy as the Akita Prefecture's gift to show gratitude for Russia's assistance to Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.WEB,weblink President's Pet: Putin's New Kyrgyz Race Horse and His Other Fauna Interactionspublisher=RTaccessdate=28 April 2017, Verni, which is an Alabai – a Turkmen-bred variety of the Central Asia shepherd dog – was a birthday gift from the leader of Turkmenistan during a meeting in Sochi in October 2017.WEB,weblink Pup-lover Putin Gifted New Dog for 65th Birthdaypublisher=CNNaccessdate=10 May 2018, Putin received Pasha, a Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog puppy as a gift from Serbia during his state visit in January 2019.HTTPS://WWW.BBC.COM/NEWS/WORLD-EUROPE-46892363, Putin warns West on Balkans as Serbia provides lavish welcomepublisher=BBCaccessdate=17 January 2019,


File:Vladimir Putin in the United States 13-16 November 2001-55.jpg|thumb|left|Putin and wife Lyudmila in New York at a service for victims of the September 11 attacksSeptember 11 attacksPutin is Russian Orthodox. His mother was a devoted Christian believer who attended the Russian Orthodox Church, while his father was an atheist.WEB, Vladimir Putin's Christian Faith – In His Own Words,weblink YouTube, 18 May 2012, 23 June 2016, BOOK, Popular Choice and Managed Democracy: the Russian elections of 1999 and 2000,weblink registration, Timothy J. Colton, Michael MacFaul, 2003, The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, Though his mother kept no icons at home, she attended church regularly, despite government persecution of her religion at that time. His mother secretly baptized him as a baby, and she regularly took him to services.According to Putin, his religious awakening began after a serious car crash involving his wife in 1993, and a life-threatening fire that burned down their dacha in August 1996. Shortly before an official visit to Israel, Putin's mother gave him his baptismal cross, telling him to get it blessed. Putin states, "I did as she said and then put the cross around my neck. I have never taken it off since." When asked in 2007 whether he believes in God, he responded, "... There are things I believe, which should not in my position, at least, be shared with the public at large for everybody's consumption because that would look like self-advertising or a political striptease."Putin Q&A: Full Transcript Time. Retrieved 22 March 2008 Putin's rumoured confessor is Russian Orthodox Bishop Tikhon Shevkunov.NEWS, Putin and the monk,weblink FT Magazine, 25 January 2013,


File:Vladimir Putin speech to IOC in Guatemala City.ogg|thumb|right|Addressing (International Olympic Committee|Olympic Committee]] in Guatemala, July 2007, in English. He also speaks GermanWEB, Putin spricht Deutsch / Putin speaks German 1/3,weblink YouTube, 8 April 2018, WEB, Wagner, Hans,weblink Das Konfliktpotential mit den USA wächst (German), 30 June 2006, 29 March 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 June 2007, and Swedish.Kremlin Chief of Staff Surprised but Not Alarmed by Navalny, The Moscow Times, 2 October 2013.)Putin is frequently seen promoting sports and a healthy way of life among Russians, including promoting skiing, badminton, cycling, and fishing.WEB, Kremlin Biography of President Vladimir Putin,weblink 23 May 2017, WEB,weblink ru:Д.Медведев призвал россиян активнее играть в бадминтон, ru,, 7 May 2012, Archived copy,weblink" title="">weblink 7 March 2014, dead, Putin watches football, and supports FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, from his home city.WEB, Putin to talk pipeline, attend football game,weblink B92, 22 March 2011, 22 March 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 March 2011, He also has displayed an interest in ice hockey and bandy, the latter which in Russia often is called 'Russian hockey'.WEB,weblink Bandy, how little known sport is winning converts, 29 February 2016, 9 October 2017, Putin began training in sambo at the age of 14, before switching to judo, which he continues to practice.Vladimir Putin: the NPR interview US radio station National Public Radio New York (15 November 2001) Putin won competitions in both sports in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). Putin was awarded 8th dan of the black belt in 2012 and became the first Russian to have been awarded the eighth dan, joining a handful of judo fighters in the world who have achieved such status.weblink Putin awarded eighth dan by international body by Reuters Putin also practises karate.WEB,weblink Black-Belt President Putin: A Man of Gentle Arts,weblink" title="">weblink 3 March 2016, dead, Putin co-authored a book on his favorite sport, published in Russian as Judo with Vladimir Putin, and in English under the title Judo: History, Theory, Practice (2004).BOOK, Putin, Vladimir, Vasily Shestakov, Alexey Levitsky, 2004, Judo: History, Theory, Practice, Blue Snake Books, 978-1-55643-445-7, Benjamin Wittes, a black belt in taekwondo and aikido and editor of Lawfare, has disputed Putin's martial arts skills, saying that there is no video evidence of Putin displaying any actual noteworthy judo skills.WEB,weblink Is Vladimir Putin a judo fraud?, The Washington Post, 18 July 2017, NEWS,weblink I'll Fight Putin Any Time, Any Place He Can't Have Me Arrested, 21 October 2015, Lawfare, 18 July 2017,


Civilian awards presented by different countries

{| class="wikitable sortable"! Date! Country! colspan="2" |Decoration! Presenter! style="width:25%;"| Notes| 7 March 2001| Vietnamframeless|100x100px)Order of Ho Chi MinhHTTP://WWW.AIF.RU/ARCHIVE/1623363DATE=7 MARCH 2001LANGUAGE=RUSSIAN, || Vietnam's second highest distinction| 2004| Kazakhstanframeless)Order of the Golden EagleHTTP://E-HISTORY.KZ/MEDIA/UPLOAD/55/2013/09/27/D64779D7E21D13B914528C976D5BFD20.PDFYEAR=2009PAGE=15QUOTE=Президент также подписал указы "О награждении орденом "Алтын ыран" (Золотой орел) Путина В.В."..., 978-601-80044-3-8, || Kazakhstan's highest distinction| 2006| Muslim Board of the Caucasus|| Order of Sheikh ul-Islam| Allahshukur Pasha-zadeDATE=4 JULY 2006PUBLISHER=Управление Мусульман КавказаURL-STATUS=DEADARCHIVEDATE=5 MARCH 2016, | 22 September 2006| Franceframeless|100x100px)Légion d'honneurHTTPS://WWW.DAILYMOTION.COM/VIDEO/XHVHVWEBSITE=VIDéO DAILYMOTION, | President Jacques Chirac| Grand-Croix (Grand Cross) rank is the highest French decoration| 2007| Tajikistan|Order of Ismoili Somoni2007JOURNAL=EURASIA DAILY MONITORISSUE=191, || Tajikistan's highest distinction| 12 February 2007| Saudi Arabiaframeless|99x99px)| Order of Abdulaziz al SaudAtul Aneja Putin goes calling on the Saudis. The Hindu. 20 February 2007Abdullah of Saudi Arabia>King Abdullah| Saudi Arabia's highest civilian award| 10 September 2007United Arab Emirates>UAEframeless|98x98px)Order of ZayedPutin Receives Top UAE's Decoration, Order of Zayed {{Webarchive>url= |date=25 May 2013 }},, 10 September 2007Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan>Sheikh Khalifa| UAE's highest civil decoration| 2 April 2010| Venezuelaframeless|100x100px)Order of the LiberatorHTTP://WWW.SEATTLETIMES.COM/NATION-WORLD/RUSSIA-OFFERS-VENEZUELA-NUCLEAR-HELP-CHAVEZ-SAYS/DATE=2 APRIL 2010LAST1=SANCHEZ, Fabiola, | President Hugo Chávez| Venezuela's highest distinction| 24 March 2011| Serbian Orthodox Churchframeless|100x100px)Order of Saint SavaHTTP://SPC.RS/ENG/|access-date=2019-11-16}}| Irinej, Serbian Patriarch| SOC's highest distinction| 4 October 2013| Monacoframeless|100x100px)Order of Saint-CharlesHTTP://WWW.LEGIMONACO.MC/DATAWEB/JOURMON.NSF/9BF97B0DA6308CFDC12568C40037F873/5B93238CE0E6EE84C1257C01002EC12D!OPENDOCUMENTDATE=4 OCTOBER 2013LANGUAGE=FRENCH, Albert II, Prince of Monaco>Prince Albert| Monaco's highest decoration| 11 July 2014| Cubaframeless)Order of José MartíHTTP://EN.ESCAMBRAY.CU/2014/RAUL-CASTRO-WELCOMES-RUSSIAN-PRESIDENT-VLADIMIR-PUTIN/DATE=11 JULY 2014, Escambray, | President Raúl Castro| Cuba's highest decoration| 16 October 2014| Serbia100x100px)Orders, decorations, and medals of Serbia>Order of the Republic of SerbiaHTTP://WWW.B92.NET/ENG/NEWS/SOCIETY.PHP?YYYY=2014&MM=10&DD=16&NAV_ID=91926>TITLE=PUTIN RECEIVES SERBIA'S TOP STATE DECORATIONAGENCY=B92, | President Tomislav Nikolić| Grand Collar, Serbia's highest award| 3 October 2017| Turkmenistan|| Order "For contribution to the development of cooperation"| President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow|| 22 November 2017| Kyrgyzstan98x98px)Order of Manas)| President Almazbek Atambayev|| 8 June 2018| China|Order of Friendship (China)>Order of FriendshipHTTP://TASS.COM/SOCIETY/1008739/AMP >TITLE=PUTIN BECOMES FIRST FOREIGN LEADER TO GET CHINA'S ORDER OF FRIENDSHIP DATE=1 JANUARY 2016, 19 June 2018, | President Xi Jinping|People's Republic of China's highest order of honour| 28 May 2019| Kazakhstanframeless|72x72px)Order of NazarbayevHTTPS://WWW.INFORM.KZ/EN/ARTICLE/3531551FIRST=WEBSITE=WWW.INFORM.KZ, | Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev|

Honorary doctorates

{| class="wikitable"!Date!University/ Institute|2001Yerevan State UniversityHTTP://ASBAREZ.COM/45463/PUTIN-CONCLUDES-VISIT-TO-ARMENIA-LAYS-WREATH-AT-GENOCIDE-MONUMENT/DATE=17 SEPTEMBER 2001, Asbarez, |2001Athens UniversityHTTP://WWW.HRI.ORG/NEWS/GREEK/APEEN/2001/01-12-07_1.APEEN.HTMLDATE=7 DECEMBER 2001, Athens News Agency, |2011University of BelgradeHTTP://WWW.B92.NET/ENG/NEWS/SOCIETY.PHP?YYYY=2011&MM=03&DD=16&NAV_ID=73273ACCESSDATE=11 JUNE 2012,

Other awards

{| class="wikitable"!Year!Award!Notes|15 November 2011|Confucius Peace PrizePeople's Republic of China>China International Peace Research Centre awarded the Confucius Peace Prize to Putin, citing as reason Putin's opposition to 2011 Libyan Civil War in 2011 while also paying tribute to his decision to go to war in Second Chechen War>Chechnya in 1999.HTTPS://WWW.BBC.CO.UK/NEWS/WORLD-ASIA-CHINA-15750979>TITLE=VLADIMIR PUTIN IN CHINA CONFUCIUS PEACE PRIZE FIASCOPUBLISHER=BBCLAST=WONGDATE=15 NOVEMBER 2011ACCESSDATE=15 NOVEMBER 2011, |2015|Angel of Peace MedalPope Francis presented Putin with the Angel of Peace Medal,HTTP://WWW.RELIGIONNEWS.COM/2015/06/10/PUTIN-ARRIVES-AT-VATICAN-POPE-URGED-TO-TAKE-HARD-LINE-ON-UKRAINE-CONFLICT/DATE=10 JUNE 2015DATE=19 MAY 2015ACCESSDATE=9 APRIL 2016,


{| class="wikitable"!Year!Award/Recognition!Description|2007Time:) Person of the YearWORK=TIMEACCESSDATE=8 JULY 2009, |December 2007Expert magazine>Expert: Person of the YearPerson of the Year (Expert magazine)>Person of the Year.HTTP://EXPERT.RU/EXPERT/2007/48/CHELOVEK_GODA/>TITLE=Глобальный игрок. EXPERT MAGAZINE. № 48 (589) 24 DECEMBER 2007ACCESSDATE=22 JUNE 2013, |5 October 2008Vladimir Putin AvenueПроспект Владимира Путина|vertical-align=sup}}Grozny, the capital of Russia's Republic of Chechnya, was renamed from the Victory Avenue to the {{ill>Vladimir Putin AvenueПроспект Владимира ПутинаChechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.HTTP://LENTA.RU/NEWS/2008/10/05/STREET/WEBSITE=LENTA.RU, 25 November 2015, |February 2011|Vladimir Putin Peak|The parliament of Kyrgyzstan named a peak in Tian Shan mountains Vladimir Putin Peak.Парламент Киргизии присвоил горной вершине имя Путина. 17 February 2011





Further reading

{{external media| float = right| video1 = Presentation by Masha Gessen on The Man Without a Face, March 8, 2012, C-SPAN}}
  • BOOK, Anna, Arutunyan, 2015, 2012; Czech ed., The Putin Mystique: Inside Russia's Power Cult, Northampton, MA, Olive Branch Press, 978-1566569903, 881654740,weblink
  • Asmus, Ronald (2010). A Little War that Shook the World: Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West. NYU. {{ISBN|978-0-230-61773-5}}.
  • Gessen, Masha (2012). (The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin). London: Granta. {{ISBN|978-1-84708-149-0}}.
  • BOOK, Ben, Judah, 2015, Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell in and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin, Yale University Press, 978-0300205220,
  • Lipman, Maria. "How Putin Silences Dissent: Inside the Kremlin's Crackdown." Foreign Affairs 951 (2016): 38+.
  • Myers, Steven Lee. The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin (2015).
  • Sakwa, Richard. Putin Redux: Power and Contradiction in Contemporary Russia (2014). online review
  • Sperling, Valerie. Sex, Politics, & Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia (Oxford University Press, 2015). 360 pp.

External links

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