Vladimir Putin was born on October 7, 1952, in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia. He is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who served as president of Russia from 1999 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2024. Putin served around 15 years in the KGB.
Putin’s political career began in St. Petersburg in the early 1990s when he became an adviser to the mayor. He later moved to Moscow and became head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), one of the successor agencies to the KGB. Putin was appointed prime minister by President Boris Yeltsin in August 1999 and became acting president on December 31 of that year when Yeltsin resigned.
Putin was elected president in March 2000 and reelected in March 2004. In March 2008 he was appointed prime minister by his successor, Dmitry Medvedev. Putin was reelected president in March 2012 and again in March 2018.
Putin’s greatest successes, according to a survey conducted by the Levada Center in Moscow, were raising the country’s military capability and strengthening the international standing of Russia. Putin also achieved progressive reform such as a flat income tax of 13% and cutting corporate tax from 35% to 24%.
Critics say Putin has led his country into an autocratic cul-de-sac, but his fans point to the stability he brought.