Russian Federation’s top dog, Vladimir Putin had his influence over Russia well before he was elected as President. Because of his dominance, he is often accused that he is piloting the nation from being a liberal democracy to an autocratic state. Several political commentators have tagged Putin as a dictator of the modern day Russia because Putin has been blamed of passing anti-liberal laws, rigging votes during elections and of course, invading territories in Georgia and Ukraine. In this article on Vladimir Putin facts, we are going to learn some very interesting facts about Putin and take a peek into his life.
Interesting Vladimir Putin Facts: 1-5
1. Full name of Vladimir Putin is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. He was born in Leningrad (now renamed as St. Petersburg), Russia on October 7, 1952.
2. He was born in a poor family. His father’s name was Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin and his mother’s name was Maria Ivanovna Shelomova.
3. His wife’s name is Lyudmila Shkrebneva (Putina). He has fathered two daughters with Lyudmila, whose names are Yekaterina Putina and Mariya Putina.
4. Putin’s mother Maria survived Siege of Leningrad by Finnish and German troops between 1941 and 1944. During the siege period, wall supplies to Leningrad were cut off, starving and killing about a million people. One of the elder brothers of Putin also perished during that siege. Putin was not yet born then.
5. A communal apartment block was where Putin lived with his siblings and parents. During his childhood, Putin used to hunt rats in the stairwell of his residence. This is what he revealed in his official biography.
Interesting Vladimir Putin Facts: 6-10
6. During puberty, Putin realized that the other male teenagers were growing up fast. In order to be not being bullied by them, he started learning judo and by the time he was 18, he achieved a black belt.
7. Not only Judo, he even learned Samozashchita Bez Oruzhiya – popularly known as Sambo – a Russian martial art.
8. Nothing is known about his daughters Yekaterina Putina and Mariya Putina. There are no family photographs ever published. There life remains a complete secret. Both daughters were born in East-Germany’s Dresden during mid-1980s.
9. Putin is very fond of dogs. He has several of them. In 2007, Putin was blamed of scaring Angela Merkel – the German Chancellor. Putin and Angela were in a diplomatic meeting to discuss over Russia supplying energy to Germany. Putin was aware that Angela was very afraid of dogs as she was bitten by one when she was a child. Still, Putin brought his black Labrador to the meeting.
10. In 2011, he supposedly discovered Greek vases dating back to 6th century BCE while diving in the Black Sea. Two months later it just turned out that the vases were already found and the archeologists were paid to deliberately put the vases there so that Putin could recover them.
Interesting Vladimir Putin Facts: 11-15
11. On his 62nd birthday in 2014 an artist created and displayed an art collection which depicted the 12 Labors of Putin. Sounds like you have heard it before somewhere? Remember the 12 Labors of Hercules? 12 Labors of Putin is an ode to that. The artist depicted Putin shooting down American fighter planes using a bow and arrows, strangling terrorist with bare hands and more.
12. As if 12 Labors of Putin was not enough, Grozny natives who adore their nation’s head actually created a 2000-foot-long Russian flag by wearing dresses of different colors. They even made a huge banner which had a cartoon of Barack Obama wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Putin on it. The banner was hung from a bridge.
13. In 2010 when Ryazan region in Moscow came under wildfire, attempts were made to put off the fire using fire-fighting plane. Putin copiloted one such plane. Basically all he did was to push the button that released the stored water on the fire below.
14. Putin’s grandfather, Spiridon Ivanovich Putin, was Vladimir Lenin’s cook at Lenin’s house, Gorki. After Lenin died, Spiridon Ivanovich Putin continued to cook meals for several other Soviet leaderships, including Joseph Stalin.
15. Putin worked as a foreign intelligence office for KGB. His service tenure in that rank was 16 years. During that period, he became Lieutenant Colonel and eventually resigned from KGB in 1991.
Interesting Vladimir Putin Facts: 16-20
16. During his tenure with KGB, Putin was sent to East Germany’s Dresden as a translator but was actually undercover agent. He stayed there from 1985 to 1990.
17. The Fall of the Berlin Wall began on 9th November 1989. During that period, in order to avoid demonstrators from obtaining KGB files, he burned the files.
18. Once the Communist East German government collapsed, Putin returned to Leningrad and in June 1991 and started working in KGB’s International Affairs section. In August 1991 he resigned when the abortive putsch against Mikhail Gorbachev (the then Soviet President) started with the support from KGB.
19. According to Putin, the end of USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republic or simply, Soviet Union) was 20th century’s greatest geopolitical catastrophe.
20. Though Putin is beyond the nostalgia for USSR, he definitely has great affinity for USSR’s symbols of power. No wonder, he reintroduced the Soviet anthem (however, he had the lyrics changed).
We are nowhere even close to completing interesting Vladimir Putin facts. That’s why, we will be creating a second article on him. Stay tuned.