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20 Fascinating Vladimir Putin Facts

by Sankalan Baidya
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Fascinating Vladimir Putin facts

In our last article on fascinating Vladimir Putin facts, we learned some funny and some serious facts about the Russian top dog. In this article we will continue to do the same.  Through a mixture of fun and serious facts, we will learn more about Putin’s political career and his off-politics heroic errands that are often captured on photo ops. Let us start with some fun facts about Vladimir Putin…what say?

Fascinating Vladimir Putin Facts: 1-5

1. Steven Seagal and Vladimir Putin are longtime pals. Putin is so fond of this former action hero that he once proposed USA to make Seagul Russia’s honorary consul in Arizona and California. Did it work out? Well, Barack Obama said in response, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’.

2. Putin plays ice hockey and practices for hours in an ice rink outside town. Does he love that sport? We don’t know! But we do know that ice hockey being Russia’s national sport, playing it will gain sympathy points just as in case of Germans who happen to love soccer.

3. He loves adventures quite a lot. No wonder in 2013, he went 200 feet under water (of course in a submersible) in Gulf of Finland to pay a 140 years old shipwreck a visit.

4. He is good at fishing too! In 2013 again, he was on a fishing trip to Siberia where he managed to catch a 46-pound pike, making it one of the biggest catches in world. Some anglers however say that the fish was probably half the weight that was claimed.

5. For the sake of science, he uses crossbows to shoot whales. What’s that? In 2010 he and his marine biologist friends were kind of hanging out in the ocean when they spotted a gray whale. The scientists wanted to take skin samples so that they could study the species properly. Putin decided to immobilize the whale for some time and shot it with a crossbow. It took him only the fourth try to hit the whale.

Fascinating Vladimir Putin Facts: 6-10

6. For publicity or whatever, Putin likes photo ops. In 2010, he was captured in camera putting a satellite tracking device to the neck of a polar bear. That was in Russia’s far north and was merely assisting in research on polar bears.

7. He even met Mongol in 2010. Who is that? Mongol is the name of a snow leopard. It is blamed that Mongol was held captive for 5 days in a location that was 100 miles away from its natural habitat only to make sure that Putin could come and visit him (and of course, be photographed). Now, Putin actually oversees a number of research programs on various mammals that include polar bear and beluga whale and as well as wild cats. Putin symbolically released Mongol.

8. Kremlin Youth Camp received a visit from Putin in 2012. Putin did a number of things there including scaling a climbing wall and participating in arm wrestling. He did something else too! He attempted bending a frying pan using his bare hands! It is not very clear whether he succeeded in doing so or not.

9. You know about F1 racing cars right? Putin took one out on the tracks of St. Petersburg in 2010. It was a brand new car from Renault. Nothing really happened, except that he rolled the car for hours hitting the speed of 150 miles an hour. It was a test drive actually and he wore a helmet that boasted the images of a double-headed eagle (Russian symbol) and Russian Flag.

10. Enough of his macho side. Here is more of his actual abilities – he becomes nervous when it comes to speaking English but he is perfect when it comes to speaking German.

Fascinating Vladimir Putin Facts: 11-15

11. After Putin resigned from KGB, he joined politics at St. Petersburg. In 1996 however, he moved to Moscow. Boris Yeltsin appointed Putin as deputy head of management in 1998.

12. Shortly after that, Yeltsin appointed Putin as Federal Security head (Federal Security was an arm of former KGB). Putin also became head of Security Council of Yeltsin.

13. In August 1999 when Yeltsin dismissed Sergey Stapashin (the then Prime Minister) and his entire cabinet, Putin was promoted to the position of Prime Minister.

14. In December when Yeltsin resigned from the post of President, Putin was appointed as acting President until next formal elections scheduled for March 2000.

15. In 2000 he won the Presidential election and then won it again in 2004. Because of term limits mandate, it was not possible for Putin to run for a third term as President. He ensured that Dmitry Medvedev, his protégé became the President and Putin became the Prime Minister again. Putin again ran for Presidential post in 2012 and won it.

Fascinating Vladimir Putin Facts: 16-20

16. During his first Presidential term, Russian economy grew steadily for 8 years straight (remember he was President for 8 consecutive years). GDP of Russia grew by 72% (measured in terms of purchasing power).

17. Putin was named as Person of the Year by Time Magazine in 2007.

18. For three consecutive years (2013-2015), Forbes put him in #1 position on the list of Most Powerful People in the world.

19. Time Magazine, in 2015, put Putin in #1 spot on the list of Most Influential People in world.

20. Putin had two elder brothers. Their names were Albert and Victor. Albert died during infancy. Victor survived only to die of diphtheria during Siege of Leningrad.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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