MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Russia will hold its presidential elections on Sunday, March 18. Eight candidates are running for the highest office in the Russian Federation. Among them is the incumbent head of state, Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin was born in Leningrad (currently St. Petersburg) on October 7, 1952. His father Vladimir Putin (1911-1999) had been a submariner before World War II. In 1941 he was drafted into the Red Army. First, he served in a mobile internal security battalion of the NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs - the then equivalent of the Interior Ministry), and then in the 330th infantry regiment of the Red Army’s 86th division. Suffered a serious injury in November 1941. After the war worked as a foreman at the Yegorov Industrial Plant in Leningrad. Mother, Maria Shelomova (1911-1998), a general worker, survived the Nazi siege of Leningrad.
In 1975, Putin graduated from the Department of Law (International Law Branch) of the Leningrad State University. Underwent a retraining course of KGB operatives in Leningrad (1976) and in Moscow (1979) at the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB of the USSR. In 1985, graduated from the Andropov Institute of the KGB of the USSR (currently the Academy of the Russian foreign intelligence service SVR).
Academic degree - Candidate of Sciences (Law).
In 1997, defended a dissertation entitled Strategic Planning of the Mineral and Resources Base Reproduction in the Context of Emerging Free Market Economy Relations (St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region) at the St. Petersburg Mining Institute.
Upon graduation from the Leningrad State University was assigned to a position in the KGB of the USSR. His first job was in the secretariat and then in the counter-intelligence unit of the KGB Office for Leningrad and the Leningrad Region. After a course of studies in Moscow was transferred to Department N. 1 (foreign intelligence) of the KGB Office for Leningrad and the Leningrad Region.
In 1985, was given an assignment at the KGB office in the German Democratic Republic. Worked in Dresden up to 1990. Held positions of a senior operative, assistant and senior assistant to the chief of a section. Returned to the Soviet Union in January 1990.
Starting from February 1990 worked as a foreign affairs assistant to the Leningrad State University’s rector and then, as an adviser to Leningrad’s Mayor Anatoly Sobchak.
In June 1991, Putin was appointed to chair the foreign relations committee of St. Petersburg Mayor’s Office. In August 1991, together with other officials of the mayor’s office came out against the State Committee on the State of Emergency. On August 20, 1991, the next day after the introduction of the state of emergency resigned from the state security service.
In 1992, took the position of St. Petersburg’s deputy mayor while retaining the post of the foreign relations committee chief. In March 1994, when Sobchak took over as the head of the city’s administration, Putin was appointed his first deputy. Later, when the posts of the head of the city administration and mayor were merged, Putin’s position was renamed to deputy mayor, chairman of the city’s foreign relations committee.
After Sobchak lost the mayoral election in St. Petersburg in June 1996 Putin quit his post. In August 1996, he was transferred to a position at the Russian presidential property directorate in the capacity of its deputy chief (his immediate superior in that capacity was Pavel Borodin). Supervised the directorate’s department of law and foreign property-related matters. Moved to Moscow together with his family.
Starting from March 1997 - deputy chief of the presidential staff, chief of the presidential Main Control Directorate. In May-July 1998 - first deputy chief of the presidential staff (at that moment the presidential staff was led by Anatoly Chubais and then Valentin Yumashev).
July 1998 - August 1999 - director of the Federal Security Service (FSB). Putin’s predecessor in that capacity was Nikolai Kovalyov. Simultaneously, from March to August 1999 - the Russian Security Council’s secretary.
On August 9, 1999, President Boris Yeltsin said he had made a decision to dismiss the Sergey Stepashin-led government and asked the State Duma to endorse Vladimir Putin as Russia’s new prime minister. On the same day Putin was appointed first deputy chairman of the Russian government and at the same time as acting head of the Cabinet of Ministers.
On August 16, 1999, the State Duma approved of Putin’s appointment as prime minister (he received the support of 233 legislators of the 439 who participated in the voting). Putin’s first weeks and months in office as number one in the Russian government saw Chechen militants’ intrusion into Dagestan and a string of terrorist attacks in Russian cities (Buinaksk, Volgodonsk and Moscow) and the start of a counter-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus.
On December 31, 1999, President Boris Yeltsin declared his resignation thus placing presidential duties in Putin’s hands.
On March 26, 2000 Russia saw an early presidential election with eleven candidates taking part. Putin emerged the winner to have collected 52.94% of the votes in the first round. Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov was second with 29.21%. The inauguration of the newly-elected president took place on May 7, 2000.
On March 14, 2004 Putin was elected for a second term to have received 71.31% in the first round (Communist candidate Nikolai Kharitonov was the runner-up with 13.69%). The inauguration followed on May 7, 2004.
From May 8, 2008 to May 7, 2012, Putin was Russia’s prime minister (his appointment was supported by 392 legislators of the 448). His predecessor was Viktor Zubkov.
In 2008-2012 Putin led the national party United Russia (without being the party’s member).
On September 24, 2011, the then President Dmitry Medvedev asked the national congress of the United Russia party to nominate Putin for Russia’s president again.
In the March 4, 2012 election Putin was elected president by a 63.6% majority vote in the first round. Communist Gennady Zyuganov was second with 17.18%. Putin took office on May 7, 2012. Starting from 2012 the presidential term of office was extended to six years under an amendment to the Constitution introduced on December 30, 2008.
Since June 12, 2013 Putin has been the leader of the non-governmental movement All-Russia People’s Front.
Commander-in-chief of Russia’s Armed Forces and chairman of the State Council, Security Council, Military-Industrial Commission and other advisory bodies under the presidential office.
Chairman of the board of trustees of the Russian Geographic Society (since 2010) and the Lomonosov Moscow State University (since 2013).
Income declared in 2016 - 8.858 million rubles ($152,000).
Military rank - Colonel, retired.
Holder of nearly 20 Russian and foreign decorations and awards.
Honorary doctor of a number of Russian and foreign academies and universities.
In 2007, Time magazine named Putin Person of the Year.
In 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Putin featured on top of the Forbes list of most powerful persons.
In 1999, in cooperation with Vasily Shestakov and Aleksey Levitsky co-authored a book titled Learning Judo with Vladimir Putin.
Command of foreign languages - German and English.
Divorced. In 1983-2014 was married to Lyudmila Putina (b. 1958, maiden name Shkrebneva, university degree in philology, Romance languages).
Daughters: Maria (born in 1985) and Katerina (born in 1986). Both graduated from the St. Petersburg State University.
Hobbies: Alpine skiing, ice hockey, fishing.
Holder of the master of sports title in judo and sambo wrestling. Champion of Leningrad in sambo (1973) and judo (1975). In 2006, was nominated honorary president of the European Judo Union. In 2010, was awarded honorary certificate of Doctor in Judo of South Korea’s Yongin university.
Black belt in karate. In November 2014 the international organization Kyokushin-kan karate-do awarded to Putin eighth Kyokushin-kan dan.
In 2013, obtained honorary ninth dan in Korea’s martial art taekwondo.
In 2017, the US cable TV channel Showtime aired Oliver Stone’s documentary The Putin Interview, based on more than two dozen rendezvous with the Russian president filmed over a period of two years.
On December 6, 2017, Putin announced that he will contest another presidential term. He declared his election plans at a meeting with veterans and workers of the automobile plant GAZ.
The Russian Central Election Commission registered his candidacy on February 6, 2018.