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Vladimir Putin: How a KGB agent from Leningrad rose to the highest of the Kremlin | World Information

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From working as a KGB agent in Soviet East Germany to the very heights of the Kremlin, the historical past of the Russian Federation is in some ways inseparable from that of Vladimir Putin.

As he eyes one other time period as president within the 2024 elections, Sky Information takes a glance again at his lengthy reign – and a number of the occasions that threatened his grip on energy.

Rising up within the shadow of the Nazi siege of Leningrad

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born within the Soviet Metropolis of Leningrad on 7 October 1952.

He had two brothers who died earlier than he was born – his brother Viktor misplaced his life as Nazi forces laid siege to Leningrad in the course of the Second World Warfare.

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Later in his life, Mr Putin recounted that his grandfather Spiridon Putin labored as a {cook} for Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin.

Mr Putin grew up in Leningrad (modern-day St Petersburg) the place he skilled in martial arts and studied regulation at college.

Younger Vladimir Putin. Pic: Russian Archives/Zuma Wire/Shutterstock

vladimir putin dances with a classmate at a party in St Petersburg in 1970
Vladimir Putin dances with a classmate at a celebration in St Petersburg in 1970

Working for the KGB: Stealing NATO secrets and techniques in East Germany

After graduating from Leningrad State College in 1975, he instantly joined the Soviet intelligence service – higher referred to as the notorious KGB.

“I used to be pushed by excessive motives. I believed I’d be capable to use my expertise to the perfect for society,” the Washington Submit reported him saying in 2000.

He was posted to Dresden in 1985, the place he appeared for East Germans who had believable causes to journey overseas after which recruited them to assist spy on the West.

Unconfirmed studies even have Mr Putin working in New Zealand within the Eighties.

Throughout his time within the KGB, he labored as a case officer and reached the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Mr Putin was recalled to Leningrad in 1990 as a part of the KGB’s “lively reserve”, because the USSR was on the snapping point.

Vladimir Putin in KGB uniform
Vladimir Putin in KGB uniform

Head of the FSB and Yeltsin’s favorite

He turned an adviser to one in all his former regulation professors, Anatoly Sobchak, who finally left to develop into chairman of Leningrad’s metropolis council and later town’s first democratically elected mayor.

Mr Putin turned broadly referred to as “Sobchak’s fixer” and rumours swirl round a few of his actions throughout this time in St Petersburg.

In 1996 he moved to Moscow and began work within the Kremlin, the place he was finally appointed head of Russia’s Federal Safety Service (FSB) – the successor to the KGB – in 1998.

Barely a yr later he was named one in all Russia’s first deputy prime ministers after which appearing prime minister by President Boris Yeltsin.

When President Yeltsin resigned he was made appearing president and formally elected president in March 2000.

vladimir putin in 1994 with Anatoly Sobchak
Vladimir Putin with Anatoly Sobchak in 1994

Kursk submarine catastrophe

Simply months into his premiership, President Putin was criticised for his dealing with of the Kursk submarine catastrophe.

The nuclear-powered Kursk submarine sank on 12 August 2000 in a disaster that claimed the lives of all 118 crew and brought about a world outcry.

Mr Putin initially elected to proceed a vacation in Sochi and let days go by earlier than accepting worldwide help.

By the point British and Norwegian divers lastly opened a hatch on board the submarine the place survivors had been holding out, seven days had handed and no person was left alive.

Learn extra:
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Navalny’s widow accuses Putin of ‘fake’ faith

Moscow theatre hostage disaster

On 23 October 2002, 40 Chechen militants led by Movsar Barayev took 912 hostages on the Dubrovka Theatre in Moscow.

Three days later particular forces had been despatched in to resolve the scenario after an unknown gasoline was pumped into the corridor and all of the militants had been killed, together with 130 hostages together with foreigners.

The assault led to President Putin taking harsher measures towards Chechen separatists.

vladimir putin at the memorial to the moscow theatre attack
President Putin visits on the memorial to the Moscow Theatre Assault

Killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya

On 7 October 2006 – President Putin’s birthday – journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot within the foyer of her residence constructing.

Earlier than her loss of life, she had uncovered corruption within the Russian military and its conduct in Chechnya.

Her killing led to claims that President Putin had not accomplished sufficient to guard the media.

He described the homicide as “abominable in its cruelty” and commented that her loss of life brought about extra issues for the Kremlin than her work.

Pic: Dreamscanner/Kobal/Shutterstock

Bunt. Delo Litvinenko - 2007
Alexander Litvinenko

Alexander Litvinenko in hospital. Pic: Dreamscanner/Kobal/Shutterstock

Loss of life of Alexander Litvinenko

In November 2006, a former KGB agent who went on to work for MI6 after fleeing to the UK fell ailing after assembly two fellow ex-KGB brokers at a lodge in London.

Alexander Litvinenko, a British citizen, had been a vocal critic of President Putin.

He died an agonising loss of life after being poisoned with tea laced with Polonium 210, a uncommon and really potent radioactive isotope.

From his deathbed, he accused President Putin of ordering his killing, however the Kremlin has all the time denied any position.

Switching with Dmitry Medvedev

In 2008, when his second time period as premier was coming to an finish, President Putin confronted the issue of the Russian structure barring anybody from serving three consecutive phrases.

As an alternative, first deputy prime minister Dmitry Medvedev was elected president and instantly appointed Mr Putin as prime minister, resulting in the belief that energy had not likely modified arms.

vladimir putin

In 2011, with Mr Putin as soon as once more looking for re-election as president, tens of 1000’s of individuals took to the streets to protest towards alleged electoral fraud.

In March 2012 he was certainly re-elected as president with 63.6% of the vote in an election marred by allegations of fraud.

Annexation of Crimea

In February 2014, numerous navy bases in Crimea together with the Ukrainian Navy’s headquarters within the Black Sea port of Sevastopol had been seized by pro-Russian forces.

President Putin then signed a treaty to annex the peninsula to Russia following a referendum criticised as unlawful by Ukraine and condemned internationally.

Comparable scenes performed out in different areas of jap Ukraine, the place pro-Russian forces took management within the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk Folks’s Republics amid the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian Warfare.

vladimir putin addresses the audience during a rally and a concert called "We are together" to support the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea to Russia, with Crimea's Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and parliamentary speaker Vladimir Konstantinov (L) seen in the background, at the Red Square in central Moscow, March 18, 2014.
President Putin addresses the viewers throughout a rally to help the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea to Russia

Intervention in Syria

In September 2015, Mr Putin concerned Russia in one other battle overseas, this time serving to his ally President Bashar Al-Assad within the Syrian Civil Warfare.

Russian forces carried out air and missile strikes and despatched in particular forces as a part of the hassle to crush resistance to the Syrian authorities.

The actions of Russian troops in Syria have been condemned and accusations of atrocities have been rife.

vladimir putin
vladimir putin in a submarine

Poisonings on the streets of Britain

In March 2018 a former Russian spy was as soon as once more the goal of an assassination try utilizing a distinct segment poison on the streets of Britain.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia had been poisoned with the Soviet-designed nerve agent novichok and located slumped on a bench in Salisbury.

They had been admitted to hospital in important situation and had been later discharged.

Fingers had been instantly pointed at Russia. The Kremlin has all the time denied being behind the assault.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were attacked with novichok and found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March
Sergei and Yulia Skripal had been attacked with novichok

Who was Alexei Navalny?

A defining thread of President Putin’s premiership has been his efforts to crush opposition, specifically his battle with vocal critic and opposition chief Alexei Navalny.

The anti-corruption activist organised demonstrations towards the federal government and President Putin, who refused to consult with Mr Navalny by title.

Alexei Navalny pictured in prison in May 2022. Pic: AP
Alexei Navalny pictured in jail in Could 2022. Pic: AP

In August 2020 he collapsed whereas onboard a home flight in Russia and the airplane needed to be diverted to a different airport in Siberia.

After recovering in Germany he levelled blame at Russia’s intelligence providers and the Kremlin itself.

Regardless of calls to remain away, he returned to Russia to proceed his combat and was later imprisoned on doubtful fees.

In February 2024 information that supporters of Mr Navalny had lengthy feared emerged: the outstanding opposition chief had died in jail.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement however the loss of life raised eyebrows and suspicions of foul play stay.

Full scale invasion of Ukraine – and a protracted conflict

In February 2022, after weeks of a build-up of Russian forces alongside the borders of Ukraine, President Putin gave the order to invade his neighbour in what he referred to as a “particular navy operation”.

Vladimir Putin handshake
President Putin shakes arms with leaders of annexed areas of Ukraine

Hopes of a swift three-day conflict and the autumn of Kyiv had been rapidly dashed as fierce Ukrainian resistance halted Russian troops and Western weapons flowed in.

The conflict has dragged on for greater than two years, without end regardless of big numbers of Russian casualties.

On the 2024 elections in March 2024, President Putin received one other six-year time period with out severe problem.

The very best profile anti-war politician inside Russia, Boris Nadezhdin, was barred from standing in the election.

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