Vladimir Putin, born in 1952, is the longest-serving leader in Russia since Joseph Stalin. He has been in charge of the country for more than two decades. A cult of personality around Putin’s “action man” image grew during his time in power, as did territorial tensions in the Eastern European countries where he lived.
During the 1950s and 1960s, he grew up in a poor neighborhood in St. Petersburg, but now he lives in a palace complex worth more than a billion dollars that isn’t seen by the public. The differences in his personality can also be seen. Vladimir Putin used to work for the KGB during the Cold War, but now he claims to be an expert judo fighter who also loves animals and The Beatles.
- He was raised in squalor.
When Vladimir Putin’s parents got married, they were just 17 years old. For many years after the Siege of Leningrad, where his mother was kept prisoner and nearly starved to death, and his father was hurt by a grenade, his family had to deal with hardships. During the Siege of Leningrad and when they were babies, Putin’s older brothers Viktor and Albert died. Before their October 1952 birth, they were killed by the Nazis.
After the war, he and his mother both worked as street sweepers and test tube washers. Many other families lived in the same apartment as the one that the family lived in. A lot of rats were running around. There wasn’t any hot water.
In 1941, Nazi Germany went to war with the Soviet Union, which had been its partner. Barbarossa was one of the main goals of this operation. Taking Leningrad was one of them. Chris Bellamy, the author of Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War, joins James Rogers to talk about the Siege of Stalingrad, which took place during the Second World War. Chris is also the director of Cranfield University’s Security Studies Institute, where he teaches military science and doctrine and runs the institute.
- When he went to school, he wasn’t the best.
Putin was chosen to go to school at Leningrad School No. 281, which only took the best students from the city. He was in the ninth grade. Later, a Russian newspaper found Putin’s grade book. “Threw chalkboard erasers at the young people,” “did not finish his math assignment,” “behaved aggressively during singing class,” and “talks in the classroom, the report says.” His gym teacher and other students also learned about his note-taking and fights.
His goal in college was to join the KGB. He went to law school to get in because he knew that the group only accepted people who had been chosen and not volunteers. When he went to Leningrad State University in 1975, he got a bachelor’s degree in history.
- Judo records are said to have been broken by this man.
Putin practiced karate on a tatami at the Kodokan Martial Arts Palace in Tokyo, Japan, in September 2000, when the country was in the middle of a war.
Judo has been a part of Putin’s life since he was 11 years old. He switched to sambo, a Russian martial art, when he was 14. When he competed in sports in Leningrad, he won both of them. In 2012, he became the first Russian to get the eighth dan of the black belt, a martial arts rank. When he wrote, he wrote Judo with Vladimir Putin in Russian, and he also wrote Judo: A History of Theory and Practice with a friend in English.
It has been said that Benjamin Wittes, who is a black belt in both Taekwondo and Aikido, doesn’t believe that Putin is very good at Judo.