Who is Vladimir Putin, how many years has he been president of Russia and what you need to know about him

(CNN) — Here’s a look at the life of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Personal information

Date of Birth: October 7, 1952

Place of birth: Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Russia

Birth name: Vladimir VladimirovichPutin

Dad: Vladimir Putin, foreman of a factory

Mother: Maria Putin

Marriage: Lyudmila (Shkrebneva) Putin (July 28, 1983-2014, divorced)

Sons: Yekaterina and Maria

Education: Leningrad State University, law, 1975

Religion: orthodox christian

Other data

He likes to exercise and is a black belt in judo.

He grew up in a communal apartment shared by three families.

He served in the KGB as an intelligence agent before becoming involved in politics.


1975 – He joins the Committee of State Security (KGB). He is part of the staff of the KGB’s First General Directorate of Foreign Intelligence and is assigned to follow foreign visitors.

1984 – He is selected to attend the Red Flag Intelligence Institute, where he learns German and English.

1985 – He is assigned to counterintelligence duties in Dresden, East Germany. Reportedly, he monitors the loyalty of Soviet diplomats.

1990 – He becomes vice-rector (dean) for international affairs at Leningrad State University. Reportedly, he monitors the loyalty of students and follows foreigners.

1991 – He turns to politics when he becomes an adviser to one of his mentors at law school, Anatoly Sobchak, who is running for mayor of Leningrad. After Sobchak wins the election, Putin is chosen to work at the city council as chairman of the international relations committee. He resigns from the KGB.

1997 – Putin is appointed deputy chief administrator of the Kremlin under President Boris Yeltsin.

1998 – Head of the Federal Security Service (FSB).

1999 – Secretary of the Russian Security Council.

August 9, 1999 – Yeltsin appoints Putin as prime minister.

December 31, 1999 – Yeltsin resigns amid scandal and Putin becomes interim president. He grants Yeltsin immunity from prosecution.

March 26, 2000 – He is elected president of Russia.

May 7, 2000 – Putin is sworn in.

June 16, 2001 – Putin meets with US President George W. Bush and the two hold a joint press conference. Bush tells reporters that during the two-hour meeting, he was able to get a glimpse of Putin’s soul.

May 24, 2002 – Putin and Bush sign the Moscow Treaty on Reductions in Strategic Offensive Operations, which requires each country to reduce its stockpile of strategic nuclear warheads over the course of ten years.

March 15, 2004 – He is re-elected after campaigning as an independent.

May 7, 2004 – Putin is sworn in for his second term.

April 27, 2005 – He becomes the first Russian leader to visit Israel.

October 4 and 5, 2005 – He visits UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and announces greater cooperation between Russia and Britain to combat terrorism.

September 5, 2006 – He meets with South African President Thabo Mbeki during the first visit to sub-Saharan Africa by a Russian leader.

December 19, 2007 – Named Person of the Year by Time magazine.

March 2, 2008 – Dmitry Medvedev is elected President of Russia.

May 7, 2008 – Just two hours after his presidential oath, Medvedev appoints Putin as prime minister.

August 2008 – Russia becomes involved in a military conflict with neighboring Georgia.

September 24, 2011 – Medvedev is calling on the ruling United Russia party to back Putin for the presidency in 2012. Putin, in turn, is suggesting that Medvedev take over as prime minister if the party wins parliamentary elections in December.

March 4, 2012 – Putin wins a third term as president, with just under 65% of the vote. Critics question the results amid allegations of voter fraud.

May 7, 2012 – Putin is sworn in under tight security. Hundreds of protesters are detained by the police.

December 14, 2012 – US President Barack Obama signs the Magnitsky Act, a law that places financial and travel restrictions on people in Russia suspected of human rights violations. The law is named after Sergey Magnitsky, a lawyer who died under mysterious circumstances in 2009 after finding evidence that Russian officials committed tax fraud.

December 28, 2012 – In response to the Magnitsky Act, Putin signs a bill that prohibits US citizens from adopting Russian children. The law also bars US-funded civic groups from operating in Russia.

June 6, 2013 – During an interview broadcast on state television, Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, announce that their marriage is over.

11th of September, 2013 – Putin publishes an opinion piece in the New York Times on the Civil War in Syria.

March 2014 – Putin sends troops to Crimea after Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych fled amid violent protests.

August 6, 2014 – Putin signs a decree banning imports of food and agricultural products from countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia.

September 28, 2015 – Putin attends the United Nations General Assembly in New York and then meets with Obama. The two leaders talk about Ukraine and Syria, according to senior US officials. It is their first in-person meeting since Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

January 21, 2016 – A UK investigation is published presenting evidence suggesting that Putin approved the operation to kill former FSB spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.

July 25, 2016 – The FBI announces that it has launched an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Commission’s computer system. Although the statement does not indicate that the agency has a particular suspect or suspects in mind, US officials told CNN they believe the cyberattack is related to Russia.

September 1, 2016 – During an interview with Bloomberg News, Putin denies that the Russian government had any involvement in the hacking of the Democratic National Commission’s emails.

December 30, 2016 – Putin says Russia will not expel US diplomats in response to new Obama administration sanctions and the expulsion of 35 US diplomats. He says he will instead try to rebuild relations with the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump.

January 6, 2017 – The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases a declassified report concluding that Putin ordered an “influence campaign” aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

January 17, 2017 – At a news conference, Putin says a damning dossier on Trump is “false” and dismisses accusations that his country’s security services have been monitoring the US president-elect.

July 7, 2017 – He meets Trump for the first time on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. During a two-hour meeting, the men reportedly discussed accusations of Russian meddling in US elections and the war in Syria, among other things. Hours later, they return to talk informally over dinner with other heads of state.

July 30, 2017 – Putin announces that Russia is implementing a series of measures in response to a new sanctions bill approved by Trump. He says that 755 employees of US diplomatic missions in Russia will be laid off from their jobs.

March 1, 2018 – During his annual speech to Parliament, Putin boasts about the country’s nuclear capabilities and declares that Russian missiles can evade air defense systems. In a video simulation, nuclear warheads are shown flying through space and raining down on a peninsula that resembles the state of Florida.

March 18, 2018 – Putin wins the elections with 76.7% of the vote, according to the Russian Central Election Commission. His most prominent rival, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was barred from running. International election monitors say the votes were counted in an orderly manner, but criticize state media coverage of the presidential race, which heavily promoted Putin.

May 7, 2018 – He is sworn in as president for another six years.

July 16, 2018 – Putin and Trump meet in Helsinki and hold a joint press conference. Trump refuses to endorse the US government’s assessment that Russia interfered in the election. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in denying him today,” Trump said.

November 28, 2018 – UK authorities believe Putin approved a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy. The attack in Salisbury, England, sickened Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. Another woman who came into contact with the poison died.

April 25, 2019 – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with Putin in Vladivostok. The summit includes one-on-one talks, but does not include signed agreements or joint statements.

May 14, 2019 – Putin meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who says he hopes the US and Russia can develop a more cooperative relationship. Pompeo says he wants countries to work together “to make both of our peoples more successful and, frankly, the world as well.”

July 3, 2019 – Putin signs a law suspending Russia’s participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

October 22, 2019 – Putin meets with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi and the men announce a broad agreement on Syria, announcing that Russian and Turkish troops will patrol the Turkish-Syrian border. The Kurdish forces have about six days to withdraw some 32 kilometers from the border.

January 15, 2020 – Putin announces plans to push through reforms that would make his successor as president less powerful. Authority would be redistributed giving greater influence to the Russian parliament and the prime minister’s office. The entire government resigns the same day.

March 23, 2021 – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells CNN that Putin received a vaccine against Covid-19, although no videos or images of the vaccination process were made available. The spokesman did not reveal which vaccine was used, but said it was one of three Russian vaccines that were approved: Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona or CoviVac.

April 5, 2021 – Putin signs into law constitutional amendments that would allow him to seek two terms over six years when his presidency ends in 2024.

February 24, 2022 – Russian military forces enter Ukraine and begin a full-scale assault on airfields, military headquarters, major cities, and ports. Putin threatens “those who might be tempted to intervene” on behalf of Ukraine.

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