|Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin|
Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин
|Assumed office |
8 May 2008
|Preceded by||Viktor Zubkov|
8 August 1999 – 7 May 2000
|Preceded by||Sergei Stepashin|
|Succeeded by||Mikhail Kasyanov|
7 May 2000 – 7 May 2008
Acting: 31 December 1999 – 7 May 2000
|Prime Minister||Mikhail Kasyanov|
Viktor Khristenko (Acting)
|Preceded by||Boris Yeltsin|
|Succeeded by||Dmitry Medvedev|
|Assumed office |
7 May 2008
|Preceded by||Boris Gryzlov|
|Born||7 October 1952 |
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russia)
|Political party||CPSU (prior 1991)|
Non-partisan (since 1991)
|Children||Mariya (1985), Katerina (1986)|
|Alma mater||Saint Petersburg State University|
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (Russian: Russian pronunciation: [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪt͡ɕ ˈputʲɪn]) (born October 7, 1952, in Leningrad, U.S.S.R., now Saint Petersburg, Russia) is a Russian politician who was the 2nd President of the Russian Federation from 2000 to 2008 and is the current Prime Minister of Russia as well as the chairman of United Russia. The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, (Председатель Правительства Российской Федерации unofficially called the Prime-Minister Events 589 - Reccared summons the Third Council of Toledo 1450 - Jack Cade's Rebellion: Kentishmen 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev ( Dmitrij Anatol′evič Medvedev;; born 14 September 1965 is currently President of Russia, inaugurated on 7 May 2008 Viktor Alekseyevich Zubkov (Ви́ктор Алексе́евич Зубко́в born September 15 1941, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Soviet Union) is Igor Ivanovich Shuvalov (Игорь Иванович Шувалов born 4 January 1967 in Bilibino then Magadan Oblast now Chukotka Autonomous Viktor Alekseyevich Zubkov (Ви́ктор Алексе́евич Зубко́в born September 15 1941, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Soviet Union) is Events 1220 - Sweden is defeated by Estonian tribes in the Battle of Lihula. Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar) Events 558 - In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin () (1 February 1931 23 April 2007 was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999 Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin (Серге́й Вади́мович Степа́шин (born March 2 1952, Lüshunkou China) is a Russian Mikhail Mikhailovich Kasyanov (Михаи́л Миха́йлович Касья́нов) - (born December 8 1957) was the Prime Minister of Russia The President of Russia (Президент России or the President of the Russian Federation, Президент Российской Events 558 - In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Events 558 - In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common An Acting President is a person who temporarily fills the role of an organization's or country's President, either when the real president is unavailable (for example ill or Events 406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia. Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar) Events 558 - In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Mikhail Mikhailovich Kasyanov (Михаи́л Миха́йлович Касья́нов) - (born December 8 1957) was the Prime Minister of Russia Viktor Borisovich Khristenko (Ви́ктор Бори́сович Христе́нко born August 28, 1957 in Chelyabinsk) is the current Industry Minister Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov (Михаи́л Ефи́мович Фрадко́в (born September 1, 1950) is a Russian politician who was the Prime Viktor Alekseyevich Zubkov (Ви́ктор Алексе́евич Зубко́в born September 15 1941, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Soviet Union) is Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin () (1 February 1931 23 April 2007 was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999 Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev ( Dmitrij Anatol′evič Medvedev;; born 14 September 1965 is currently President of Russia, inaugurated on 7 May 2008 United Russia (Единая Россия Yedinaya Rossiya) is a major Political party in the Russian Federation. Events 558 - In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Boris Vyacheslavovich Gryzlov or Boris Grizlov ( Russian: Борис Вячеславович Грызлов) (born December 15 1950) is a Russian Events 3761 BC - The epoch (origin of the modern Hebrew calendar ( Proleptic Julian calendar) Year 1952 ( MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending In Politics, an independent is a Politician who is not Affiliated with any Political party. United Russia (Единая Россия Yedinaya Rossiya) is a major Political party in the Russian Federation. Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Putina (1=Людмила Александровна Путина Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Putina, née Shkrebneva Шкребнева born January Alma mater is Latin for "nourishing mother" It was used in Ancient Rome as a title for the mother Goddess, and in Medieval Saint Petersburg State University ( Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет) is a Russian federal state-owned higher See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure Russian ( transliteration:,) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages Events 3761 BC - The epoch (origin of the modern Hebrew calendar ( Proleptic Julian calendar) Year 1952 ( MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending The President of Russia (Президент России or the President of the Russian Federation, Президент Российской The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, (Председатель Правительства Российской Федерации unofficially called the Prime-Minister United Russia (Единая Россия Yedinaya Rossiya) is a major Political party in the Russian Federation. He became acting President on December 31, 1999, succeeding Boris Yeltsin, and then won the 2000 presidential election. An Acting President is a person who temporarily fills the role of an organization's or country's President, either when the real president is unavailable (for example ill or Events 406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia. Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar) Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin () (1 February 1931 23 April 2007 was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999 Russian presidential elections were held on March 26, 2000. Incumbent Prime Minister and acting President Vladimir Putin, who had succeeded Boris In 2004, he was re-elected for a second term lasting until May 7, 2008. Presidential elections were held in Russia on March 14, 2004. Events 558 - In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common
During his Presidential terms, and coming into his second term as Prime Minister, Putin has enjoyed high approval ratings amongst the Russian public for rescuing Russia from the chaos of Boris Yeltsin years. Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin () (1 February 1931 23 April 2007 was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999 During his eight years in office, the economy bounced back from crisis seeing GDP increase six-fold (72% in PPP), poverty more than halve and average monthly salaries increase from $80 to $640, or by 150% in real rates. The purchasing power parity ( PPP) theory uses the long-term equilibrium Exchange rate of two currencies to equalize their Purchasing power.  At the same time, his conduct in office has been questioned by domestic dissenters, as well as foreign governments and human rights organizations, for his handling of internal conflicts in Chechnya and Dagestan, his record on internal human rights and freedoms, his relations with former Soviet Republics, and his relations with the so-called oligarchs: Russian businessmen with a high degree of power and influence within both the Russian Government and economy (See Criticism of Vladimir Putin). The Chechen Republic (ˈʧɛʧɨn rɪˈpʌblɨk Чече́нская Респу́блика Chechenskaya Respublika; Нохчийн Республика Noxçiyn Respublika The Republic of Dagestan dæɡɪˈstɑːn (IntEng ˈdeɪɡəstæn (AmEng (Респу́блика Дагеста́н Дагъистанлъул ДжумхIурият Daɣistanłul The Republics of the Soviet Union were according to the Article 76 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution, Sovereign Soviet Socialist states that had united with other Vladimir Putin, 2nd President of Russia and current Prime Minister of Russia has drawn significant domestic and international criticism since his ascension This was seen by the Kremlin as a series of anti-Russian propaganda attacks orchestrated by western opponents and exiled oligarchs. Business oligarch is a near-synonym of the term " Business magnate " 
Due to constitutionally mandated term limits, Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive Presidential term. Following the success of his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, in the 2008 presidential elections, he was then nominated by the latter to be Russia's Prime Minister and took the post on May 8, 2008. Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev ( Dmitrij Anatol′evič Medvedev;; born 14 September 1965 is currently President of Russia, inaugurated on 7 May 2008 The Russian Presidential election of 2008, held on March 2, 2008 resulted in the election of Dmitry Medvedev as the third President of Russia This article is about the government position For other uses see Prime Minister (disambiguation. Events 589 - Reccared summons the Third Council of Toledo 1450 - Jack Cade's Rebellion: Kentishmen 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common
His mother, Maria Ivanovna, was a factory worker and his father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, was conscripted into the Soviet Navy, where he served in the submarine fleet in the early 1930s. Conscription (also known as the draft, the call-up or national service) is a general term for involuntary labor demanded by some established authority The Soviet Navy ( Russian: Военно-морской флот СССР Voyenno-morskoy flot SSSR, literally "Naval military forces of the USSR" was A submarine is a Watercraft that can operate independently below water as distinct from a Submersible that has only limited underwater capability . His father subsequently served with the NKVD in a sabotage group during the Second World War. The NKVD ( НКВД, ru Народный Комиссариат Внутренних Дел ''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del'') or People's Commissariat World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Two elder brothers were born in the mid-1930s; one died within a few months of birth; the second succumbed to diphtheria during the siege of Leningrad. Diphtheria ( Greek διφθερα ( diphthera)—“pair of leather scrolls" is an upper respiratory tract illness characterized by sore The Siege of Leningrad, also known as The Leningrad Blockade ( Russian: блокада Ленинграда ( transliteration: blokada Leningrada His paternal grandfather, Spiridon Putin, had been Vladimir Lenin's and Joseph Stalin's personal cook. Joseph Stalin ( ნამდვილი გვარი ჯუღაშვილი|Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; March 5 1953 was General Secretary of the Communist Party 
His autobiography, Ot Pervovo Litsa, (English: First Person) is based on Putin's interviews, speaks of humble beginnings, including early years in a communal apartment. According to Putin, in his youth, he was eager to emulate the intelligence officer characters played on the Soviet screen by actors such as Vyacheslav Tikhonov and Georgiy Zhzhonov. The cinema of the Soviet Union, not to be confused with " Russian Cinema " despite Russian language films being predominant in both genres includes Vyacheslav Vasilyevich Tikhonov (Вячеслав Васильевич Тихонов (born February 8, 1928) is a famous Soviet actor and a recipient Georgiy Stepanovich Zhzhonov (Георгий Степанович Жжёнов ( March 22, 1915 - December 8, 2005) was a Russian actor
Putin graduated from the International Law branch of the Law Department of the Leningrad State University in 1975. Saint Petersburg State University ( Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет) is a Russian federal state-owned higher His final thesis was on an international law theme—Russian: «Принцип наиболее благоприятствуемой нации». International law is the term commonly used for referring to the system of implicit and explicit agreements that bind together nation-states in adherence to recognized values and standards Russian ( transliteration:,) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages ["The principle of most favored nation"].
Thereafter he was recruited to the KGB. KGB ( Transliteration of "КГБ" is the Russian abbreviation of Committee for State Security ( Komityet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosty At the University he also became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and remained a member until the party was dissolved in December 1991. 
He worked in the Leningrad and Leningrad region Fifth Directorate of the KGB, which combated the political dissent in the Soviet Union. Political dissent refers to any expression designed to convey dissatisfaction with or opposition to the policies of a governing body In 1976 he completed the KGB retraining course in Okhta, Leningrad. Year 1976 ( MCMLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The available information about his first years at the KGB is somewhat contradictory; according to some sources, he completed the other retraining course at the Dzerzhinsky KGB Higher School in Moscow and then in 1985—the Red Banner Yuri Andropov KGB Institute in Moscow (now the Academy of Foreign Intelligence), whereupon (or earlier) he joined the KGB First Chief Directorate (Foreign intelligence branch). The First Chief Directorate (Russian Первое Главное Управление (or PGU of the Committee for State Security (KGB was the organization responsible for
From 1985 to 1990 the KGB stationed Putin in Dresden, East Germany, in what he regards as a minor position. Year 1985 ( MCMLXXXV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar) Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar) Dresden (etymologically from Old Sorbian Drežďany, meaning people of the riverside forest, Drježdźany is the Capital city of the German The German Democratic Republic ( GDR; Deutsche Demokratische Republik DDR; commonly known in English as East Germany) was a Socialist state Following the collapse of the East German regime, Putin was recalled to the Soviet Union and returned to Leningrad, where in June 1991 he assumed a position with the International Affairs section of Leningrad State University, reporting to Vice-Rector Yuriy Molchanov. Yury Vyacheslavovich Molchanov (Юрий Вячеславович Молчанов (born July 19[[ 952]] in Kolomna, Moscow Oblast, Soviet Union In his new position, Putin grew reacquainted with Anatoly Sobchak, then mayor of Leningrad. Anatoly Alexandrovich Sobchak (Анато́лий Алекса́ндрович Собча́к August 10, 1937 &mdash February 20, 2000) Sobchak served as an Assistant Professor during Putin's university years and was one of Putin's lecturers. Putin formally resigned from the state security services on August 20, 1991, during the KGB-supported abortive putsch against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Events 636 - Battle of Yarmouk: Arab forces led by Khalid ibn al-Walid take control of Syria and Palestine Year 1991 ( MCMXCI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar. The 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt ( August 19 - August 21, 1991) also known as the August Putsch or August Coup was a three-day Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev ( Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachyov;; born 2 March 1931 in Privolnoye Stavropol Krai) is a Russian politician
In May 1990 Putin was appointed Mayor Sobchak's advisor on international affairs. On June 28, 1991, he was appointed head of the Committee for External Relations of the Saint Petersburg Mayor's Office, with responsibility for promoting international relations and foreign investments. Events 1098 - Fighters of the First Crusade defeat Kerbogha of Mosul. Year 1991 ( MCMXCI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar. Saint Petersburg City Administration is the superior executive body of Saint Petersburg (formerly Leningrad Russian Federation. The Committee was also used to register business ventures in Saint Petersburg.  Less than one year after taking control of the committee, Putin was investigated by a commission of the city legislative council. Commission deputies Marina Salye and Yury Gladkov concluded that Putin understated prices and issued licenses permitting the export of non-ferrous metals valued at a total of $93 million in exchange for food aid from abroad that never came to the city. Marina Yevgenyevna Salye (Марина Евгеньевна Салье (born in 1934) is a Russian geologist and politician former deputy of the legislative assembly Yury Pavlovich Gladkov ( Russian: Юрий Павлович Гладков January 22 1949, Leningrad, Soviet Union – October  The commission recommended Putin be fired, but there were no immediate consequences. Putin remained head of the Committee for External Relations until 1996. While heading the Committee for External Relations, from 1992 to March 2000 Putin was also on the advisory board of the German real estate holding Saint Petersburg Immobilien und Beteiligungs AG (SPAG) which has been investigated by German prosecutors for money laundering. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Real estate is a legal term (in some jurisdictions notably in the USA, United Kingdom 
From 1994 to 1997, Putin was appointed to additional positions in the Saint Petersburg political arena. In March 1994 he became first deputy head of the administration of the city of Saint Petersburg. In 1995 (through June 1997) Putin led the Saint Petersburg branch of the pro-government Our Home Is Russia political party. Our Home – Russia (Наш дом – Россия Naš dom – Rossija) abbreviated as NDR, was a Russian Political party between 1995  During this same period from 1995 through June 1997 he was also the head of the Advisory Board of the JSC Newspaper Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti. The Vedomosti was the first Newspaper printed in Russia. It was established by Peter the Great 's Ukase dated 16 December 
In 1996 Anatoly Sobchak lost the Saint Petersburg mayoral election to Vladimir Yakovlev. Vladimir Anatolyevich Yakovlev (Владимир Анатольевич Яковлев (born November 25[[ 944]] in Olyokminsk, Yakutia, Soviet Union Putin was called to Moscow and in June 1996 assumed position of a Deputy Chief of the Presidential Property Management Department headed by Pavel Borodin. Pavel Pavlovich Borodin (Павел Павлович Бородин (born October 25[[ 946]] is a Russian official and politician He occupied this position until March 1997. On March 26, 1997 President Boris Yeltsin appointed Putin deputy chief of Presidential Staff, which he remained until May 1998, and chief of the Main Control Directorate of the Presidential Property Management Department (until June 1998). Events 1026 - Pope John XIX crowns Conrad II as Holy Roman Emperor. Year 1997 ( MCMXCVII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin () (1 February 1931 23 April 2007 was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999 The Russian presidential administration (also known as Staff of Russia’s president Presidential Executive Office in Russian: Администрация Президента
On June 27, 1997, at the Saint Petersburg Mining Institute Putin defended his Candidate of Science dissertation in economics titled "The Strategic Planning of Regional Resources Under the Formation of Market Relations". Events 1358 - Republic of Dubrovnik is founded 1709 - Peter the Great defeats Charles XII of Sweden Year 1997 ( MCMXCVII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar The G V Plekhanov Saint Petersburg State Mining Institute and Technical University is Russia 's oldest higher education institute devoted to engineering Kandidat nauk or Candidate of Sciences (Кандидат наук is a first post-graduate scientific degree in the former USSR and in some Post-Soviet  According to Clifford G Gaddy, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institute, 16 of the 20 pages that open a key section of Putin’s work were copied either word for word or with minute alterations from a management study, Strategic Planning and Policy, written by US professors William King and David Cleland and translated into Russian by a KGB-related institute in the early 1990s. Clifford G Gaddy, an economist specializing in Russia holds a joint appointment as a fellow in the Brookings Institution's Foreign Policy Studies and its Global Economy and The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington D  6 diagrams and tables were also copied. 
On May 25, 1998 Vladimir Putin was appointed First Deputy Chief of Presidential Staff for regions, (replacing Viktoriya Mitina), and on July 15 of the same year—the Head of the Commission for the preparation of agreements on the delimitation of power of regions and the federal center attached to the President (replacing Sergey Shakhray). Events 1085 - Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo Spain back from the Moors. Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) The Russian presidential administration (also known as Staff of Russia’s president Presidential Executive Office in Russian: Администрация Президента Viktoria Alexandrovna Mitina (Виктория Александровна Митина is a Russian politician Sergey Mikhaylovich Shakhray ( Russian: Сергей Михайлович Шахрай (born April 30[[ 956]] in Simferopol, Crimea, Soviet After Putin's appointment, the commission completed no such agreements, although during Shakhray's term as the Head of the Commission there were 46 agreements signed.  On July 25, 1998 Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Putin head of the FSB (one of the successor agencies to the KGB), the position Putin occupied until August 1999. Events 285 - Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar, co-ruler Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation ( FSB) ( Russian: ФСБ Федера́льная слу́жба безопа́сности Federalnaya He became a permanent member of the Security Council of the Russian Federation on October 1, 1998 and its Secretary on March 29, 1999. The Security Council of the Russian Federation (SCRF ( Russian: Совет Безопасности Российской Федерации) is a consultative body Events 331 BC - Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela. Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) Events 1461 - Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton - Edward of York defeats Queen Margaret to become King Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar) In April 1999, FSB Chief Vladimir Putin and Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin held a televised press conference in which they discussed a video that had aired nationwide March 17 on the state-controlled Russia TV channel which showed a naked man very similar to the Prosecutor General of Russia, Yury Skuratov, in bed with two young women. Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin (Серге́й Вади́мович Степа́шин (born March 2 1952, Lüshunkou China) is a Russian The Prosecutor General of Russia (also Attorney General of Russia Генеральный Прокурор Российской Федерации heads the system of official Yury Ilyich Skuratov (Юрий Ильич Скуратов (born July 3[[ 952]] in Ulan-Ude) is a Russian lawyer and politician Putin claimed that expert FSB analysis proved the man on the tape to be Skuratov and that the orgy had been paid for by persons investigated for criminal offences.  Skuratov had been adversarial toward President Yeltsin and had been aggressively investigating government corruption.
On June 15, 2000, The Times reported that Spanish police discovered that Putin had secretly visited a villa in Spain belonging to the oligarch Boris Berezovsky on up to five different occasions in 1999. Events 763 BC - Assyrians record a Solar eclipse that will be used to fix the Chronology of Mesopotamian history 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. The Times is a daily national Newspaper published in the United Kingdom since 1785 when it was known as The Daily Universal Register. Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Boris Abramovich Berezovsky (Бори́с Абра́мович Березо́вский (also known as Platon Elenin (born January 23, 1946) is a Russian 
On August 9, 1999, Vladimir Putin was appointed one of three First Deputy Prime Ministers, which enabled him later on that day, as the previous government led by Sergei Stepashin had been sacked, to be appointed acting Prime Minister of the Government of the Russian Federation by President Boris Yeltsin. Events 48 BC - Caesar's civil war: Battle of Pharsalus - Julius Caesar decisively defeats Pompey at Pharsalus Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar) Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin (Серге́й Вади́мович Степа́шин (born March 2 1952, Lüshunkou China) is a Russian Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin () (1 February 1931 23 April 2007 was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999  Yeltsin also announced that he wanted to see Putin as his successor. Later, that same day, Putin agreed to run for the presidency.  On August 16, the State Duma approved his appointment as Prime Minister with 233 votes in favour (vs. Events 1384 - The Hongwu Emperor of Ming China, Emperor Dong hears a case of a couple who tore paper money bills while fighting The State Duma (Государственная дума (Gosudarstvennaya Duma common abbreviation Госдума (Gosduma in the Russian Federation is the 84 against, 17 abstained), while a simple majority of 226 was required, making him Russia's fifth PM in less than eighteen months. On his appointment, few expected Putin, virtually unknown to the general public, to last any longer than his predecessors. Yeltsin's main opponents and would-be successors, Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov and former Chairman of the Russian Government Yevgeniy Primakov, were already campaigning to replace the ailing president, and they fought hard to prevent Putin's emergence as a potential successor. Yury Mikhaylovich Luzhkov (Ю́рий Миха́йлович Лужко́в (born September 21 1936 in Moscow, Russia, USSR) is a Russian Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov (Евгений Максимович Примаков born October 29 1929 is a Russian Politician, a former KGB general Putin's law-and-order image and his unrelenting approach to the renewed crisis in Chechnya soon combined to raise his popularity and allowed him to overtake all rivals. In Politics, law and order refers to a political platform which supports a strict Criminal justice system especially in relation to Violent crime The Second Chechen War, in a later phase better known as the War in the North Caucasus, was launched by the Russian Federation starting August 26
Putin's rise to public office in August 1999 coincided with an aggressive resurgence of the near-dormant conflict in the North Caucasus, when a number of Chechens invaded a neighboring region starting the War in Dagestan. The Invasion of Dagestan, also known as the War in Dagestan and Dagestan War, began when the Chechnya -based Islamic International Peacekeeping Both in Russia and abroad, Putin's public image was forged by his tough handling of the war. On assuming the role of acting President on December 31, 1999, Putin went on a previously scheduled visit to Russian troops in Chechnya. Events 406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia. Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar) In recent years, Putin has distanced himself from the management of the continuing conflict. In 2003, a controversial referendum was held in Chechnya adopting a new constitution which declares the Republic as a part of Russia. Chechnya has been gradually stabilized with the parliamentary elections and the establishment of a regional government.  Throughout the war Russia has severely disabled the Chechen rebel movement, although sporadic violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus. 
While not formally associated with any party, Putin pledged his support to the newly formed Unity Party, which won the second largest percentage of the popular vote (23,32%) in the December 1999 Duma elections, and in turn he was supported by it. Unity (Единство Yedinstvo was a Russian political party that was created in September 1999 and registered on October 15 supported by Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin A Duma (Ду́ма is any of various representative assemblies in modern Russia and Russian history Putin appeared to be ideally positioned to win the presidency in elections due the following summer.
His rise to Russia's highest office ended up being even more rapid: on December 31, 1999, Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned and, according to the constitution, Putin became (acting) President of the Russian Federation. Events 406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia. Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar) In law when someone is said to be acting in a position it can mean one of three things
The first Decree that Putin signed December 31, 1999, was the one "On guarantees for former president of the Russian Federation and members of his family". Events 406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia. Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar)  This ensured that "corruption charges against the outgoing President and his relatives" would not be pursued, although this claim is not strictly verifiable.  Later on February 12, 2001 Putin signed a federal law on guarantees for former presidents and their families (See Vladimir Putin legislation and program), which replaced the similar decree. During his presidency Vladimir Putin proposed 227 legislative acts of the Russian Federation (as of January 18[[ 007]] In 1999, Yeltsin and his family were under scrutiny for charges related to money-laundering by the Russian and Swiss authorities. 
While his opponents had been preparing for an election in June 2000, Yeltsin's resignation resulted in the elections being held within three months, in March. This put all of his opponents at a disadvantage, giving him the element of surprise and an eventual victory. Presidential elections were held on March 26, 2000; Putin won in the first round. Russian presidential elections were held on March 26, 2000. Incumbent Prime Minister and acting President Vladimir Putin, who had succeeded Boris Events 1026 - Pope John XIX crowns Conrad II as Holy Roman Emperor. 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.
Vladimir Putin was inaugurated president on May 7, 2000. Events 558 - In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. He appointed Financial minister Mikhail Kasyanov as his Prime minister. Mikhail Mikhailovich Kasyanov (Михаи́л Миха́йлович Касья́нов) - (born December 8 1957) was the Prime Minister of Russia Having announced his intention to consolidate power in the country into a strict vertical, in May 2000 he issued a decree dividing 89 federal subjects of Russia between 7 federal districts overseen by representatives of him in order to facilitate federal administration. Russia is a Federation which consists of 83  subjects. These subjects are of equal federal rights in the sense that they have equal This article is about an administrative division of the federal government of Russia In July 2000, according to a law proposed by him and approved by the Russian parliament, Putin also gained the right to dismiss heads of the federal subjects. The Federal Assembly of Russia (Russian Федеральное Собрание transliteration Federalnoye Sobraniye or Federalnoje Sobranije is the Legislature of the
During his first term in office, he moved to curb the political ambitions of some of the Yeltsin-era oligarchs such as former Kremlin insider Boris Berezovsky, who had "helped Mr Putin enter the family, and funded the party that formed Mr Putin's parliamentary base", according to BBC profile. Business oligarch is a near-synonym of the term " Business magnate " Boris Abramovich Berezovsky (Бори́с Абра́мович Березо́вский (also known as Platon Elenin (born January 23, 1946) is a Russian  At the same time, according to Vladimir Solovyev, it was Alexey Kudrin who was instrumental in Putin's assignment to the Presidential Administration of Russia to work with Pavel Borodin, and according to Solovyev, Berezovsky was proposing Igor Ivanov rather than Putin as a new president. Vladimir Rudol'fovich Solovyov (Alternative spelling Vladimir Rudol'fovich Soloviev in Russian: Влади́мир Рудо́льфович Соловьё́в (b Alexei Leonidovich Kudrin (Алексей Леонидович Кудрин (born 12 October, 1960) is a Russian Statesman, and the Russian The Russian presidential administration (also known as Staff of Russia’s president Presidential Executive Office in Russian: Администрация Президента Pavel Pavlovich Borodin (Павел Павлович Бородин (born October 25[[ 946]] is a Russian official and politician Igor Sergeyevich Ivanov (И́горь Серге́евич Ивано́в (b  A new group of business magnates, such as Gennady Timchenko, Vladimir Yakunin, Yuriy Kovalchuk, Sergey Chemezov, with close personal ties to Putin, emerged. At the very beginning of his presidency Vladimir Putin announced that he was going to consolidate political powers in Russia into the so-called power vertical. Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko (also spelled Guennadi Timtchenko; Геннадий Николаевич Тимченко is a prominent Russian businessman citizen Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin (Владимир Иванович Якунин born June 30, 1948 in Vladimir Yury Valentinovich Kovalchuk ( Russian: Юрий Валентинович Ковальчук born July 25[[ 951]] Leningrad, Soviet Union) is Sergey Viktorovich Chemezov (Сергей Викторович Чемезов b Corruption grew by the magnitude of several times and assumed "systemic and institutionalised" form, according to a report by Boris Nemtsov as well as other sources. Boris Efimovich Nemtsov (Борис Ефимович Немцов (born October 9 1959) is a former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia one of co-founders of the  Corruption was characterized by Putin himself as "the most wearying and difficult to resolve" problem he encountered during his two terms in office. 
The first major challenge to Putin's popularity came in August 2000, when he came in for serious criticism in relation to his ignoring of the Kursk submarine disaster. Background Work on building the Kursk began in 1992 at Severodvinsk, near Arkhangelsk. 
In December 2000, Putin sanctioned the law to change the National Anthem of Russia. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. The Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Strategic Offensive Reductions ( SORT) better known as the Moscow Treaty "represents The Hymn of the Russian Federation (Государственный гимн Российской Федерации Gosudarstvenny Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii) is the National At the time the Anthem had music by Glinka and no words. Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (Михаи́л Ива́нович Гли́нка ( –) was the first Russian composer to gain wide recognition inside his own country The change was to restore (with a minor modification) the music of the post-1944 Soviet anthem by Alexandrov, while the new text was composed by Mikhalkov. Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov (Александр Васильевич Александров Aleksandr Vasilevich Aleksandrov) ( &mdash July 8, 1946 Sergey Vladimirovich Mikhalkov (Сергей Владимирович Михалков (born March 13, 1913) is a Russian author of children's books and 
Many in the Russian press and in the international media warned that the death of some 130 hostages in the special forces' rescue operation during the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis would severely damage President Putin's popularity. The Moscow theater hostage crisis, also known as the 2002 Nord-Ost siege, was the seizure of a crowded Moscow Theatre on October 23 However, shortly after the siege had ended, the Russian president is enjoying record public approval ratings - 83% of Russians declared themselves satisfied with the Putin's rule and his ruthless handling of the siege. 
The arrest in early July 2003 of Platon Lebedev, a Mikhail Khodorkovsky partner and second largest shareholder in Yukos, on suspicion of illegally acquiring a stake in a state-owned fertiliser firm, Apatit, in 1994, foreshadowed what by the end of the year became a full-fledged prosecution of Yukos and its management for fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion. An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her liberty usually in relation to the investigation and prevention of crime Platon Leonidovich Lebedev (Russian Платон Леонидович Лебедев born 29 November 1956) is a former CEO of Group Menatep, and is best Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky (Михаи́л Бори́сович Ходорко́вский born June 26, 1963) is a Russian businessman a former Yukos Oil Company (ОАО НК ЮКОС was a Petroleum company in Russia which until recently was controlled by Russian Fertilizers ( also spelt fertiliser are chemical compounds given to Plants to promote growth they are usually applied either through the soil for uptake by plant Phosagro is a Russian company producing Fertilizer, phosphates and feed phosphates
A few month before the elections, Putin fired Kasyanov's cabinet and appointed relatively obscure Mikhail Fradkov to his place. Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov (Михаи́л Ефи́мович Фрадко́в (born September 1, 1950) is a Russian politician who was the Prime Sergey Ivanov became the first civilian in Russia to take Defence Minister position. Sergei Borisovich Ivanov (Серге́й Бори́сович Ивано́в (born January 31, 1953) is a Russian political figure
On March 14, 2004, Putin was re-elected to the presidency for a second term, earning 71 percent of the vote. The National Priority Projects of the Russian Federation is a program of the Russian government set out by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his speech Events 1489 - The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " Presidential elections were held in Russia on March 14, 2004.
On September 13, 2004, following the Beslan school hostage crisis, Putin suggested the creation of a Public Chamber of Russia and launched an initiative to replace the direct election of the governors and presidents of Federal subjects of Russia with a system whereby they would be proposed by the President and approved or disapproved by regional legislatures. Events 509 BC - The Temple of Jupiter on Rome 's Capitoline Hill is dedicated on the ides of September "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre) A series of explosions shook the school followed by a fire The Public Chamber (In Russian: Общественная палата is a state institution with 126 members created in 2005 in Russia to analyze Russia is a Federation which consists of 83  subjects. These subjects are of equal federal rights in the sense that they have equal A legislature is a type of representative Deliberative assembly with the power to create amend and change Laws The law created by a legislature is called Legislation  He also initiated the merger of a number of federal subjects of Russia into larger entities. While many in Beslan blamed Putin personally for the massacre in which hundreds died, his overall popularity in Russia did not suffer. Beslan (Бесла́н Ossetic: Беслӕн is a town located in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Russia.
According to various Russian and western media reports, one of the major domestic issue concerns for President Putin were the problems arising from the ongoing demographic and social trends in Russia, such as the death rate being higher than the birth rate, cyclical poverty, and housing concerns within the Russian Federation. In 2005, four "national projects" were launched in the fields of health care, education, housing and agriculture. The National Priority Projects of the Russian Federation is a program of the Russian government set out by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his speech In his May 2006 annual speech, Putin proposed increasing maternity benefits and prenatal care for women. Putin was strident about the need to reform the judiciary considering the present federal judiciary "Sovietesque", wherein many of the judges hand down the same verdicts as they would under the old Soviet judiciary structure, and preferring instead a judiciary that interpreted and implemented the code to the current situation. In 2005, responsibility for federal prisons was transferred from the Interior Ministry to the Ministry of Justice.
One of the most controversial aspects of Putin's second term was the continuation of the criminal prosecution of Russia's richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, President of Yukos oil company, for fraud and tax evasion. Yukos Oil Company (ОАО НК ЮКОС was a Petroleum company in Russia which until recently was controlled by Russian While much of the international press saw this as a reaction against Khodorkovsky's funding for political opponents of the Kremlin, both liberal and communist, the Russian government has argued that Khodorkovsky was engaged in corrupting a large segment of the Duma to prevent changes in the tax code aimed at taxing windfall profits and closing offshore tax evasion vehicles. Khodorkovsky's arrest was met positively by the Russian public, who see the oligarchs as thieves who were unjustly enriched and robbed the country of its natural wealth.  Many of the initial privatizations, including that of Yukos, are widely believed to have been fraudulent (Yukos, valued at some $30bn in 2004, had been privatized for $110 million), and like other oligarchic groups, the Yukos-Menatep name has been frequently tarred with accusations of links to criminal organizations. Tim Osborne of GML (the majority owner of Yukos) said in February 2008: "Despite claims by President Vladimir Putin that the Kremlin had no interest in bankrupting Yukos, the company's assets were auctioned at below-market value. In addition, new debts suddenly emerged out of nowhere, preventing the company from surviving. The main beneficiary of these tactics was Rosneft. It is clearer now than ever that the expropriation of Yukos was a ploy to put key elements of the energy sector in the hands of Putin's retinue. Moreover, the Yukos affair marked a turning point in Russia's commitment to domestic property rights and the rule of law. " The fate of Yukos was seen by western media as a sign of a broader shift toward a system normally described as state capitalism, where "the entirety of state-owned and controlled enterprises are run by and for the benefit of the cabal around Putin — a collection of former KGB colleagues, Saint Petersburg lawyers, and other political cronies. State capitalism, in its classic meaning is a private capitalist economy under State control "  Against the backdrop of the Yukos saga, questions were raised about the actual destination of $13. 1 billion remitted in October 2005 by the state-run Gazprom as payment for 75,7% stake in Sibneft to Millhouse-controlled offshore accounts, after a series of generous dividend payouts and another $3 billion received from Yukos in a failed merger in 2003. OJSC Gazprom, (Газпром long version Открытое Aкционерное Oбщество Газпром sometimes transcribed as Gasprom is the largest Russian company Gazprom Neft ( ( Газпром нефть) is the fifth largest oil producing and refining company in Russia. An offshore bank is a Bank located outside the country of residence of the depositor typically in a low tax jurisdiction (or Tax haven) that provides financial  In 1996 Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky had acquired the controlling interest in Sibneft for $100 million within the controversial loans-for-shares program. Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich (rɐˈman ɐrˈkadʲjevʲɪtɕ ɐbrɐˈmovʲɪtɕ Рома́н Арка́дьевич Абрамо́вич born on 24 October 1966 Boris Abramovich Berezovsky (Бори́с Абра́мович Березо́вский (also known as Platon Elenin (born January 23, 1946) is a Russian Anatoly Borisovich Chubais (Анато́лий Бори́сович Чуба́йс (born June 16, 1955, Borisov, Belorussian SSR, Soviet  Some prominent Yeltsin-era billionaires, such as Sergey Pugachyov, are reported to continue to enjoy close relationship with Putin's Kremlin. Sergey Viktorovich Pugachyov (Сергей Викторович Пугачёв b 
Since February 2006, the political philosophy of Putin's administration has often been described as "sovereign democracy", the term being used both with positive and pejorative connotations. This word has distinct meanings in other fields see Connotation (semiotics and Connotation and denotation. First proposed by Vladislav Surkov in February 2006, the term quickly gained currency within Russia and arguably unified various political elites around it. Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov (Владисла́в Ю́рьевич Сурко́в (b According to its proponents' interpretation, the government's actions and policies ought above all to enjoy popular support within Russia itself and not be determined from outside the country.  However, as implied by expert of the Carnegie Endowment Masha Lipman, "Sovereign democracy is a Kremlin coinage that conveys two messages: first, that Russia's regime is democratic and, second, that this claim must be accepted, period. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a formally private nonprofit organization in practice closely associated with the United States Department of State, Any attempt at verification will be regarded as unfriendly and as meddling in Russia's domestic affairs. "  Some Western observers derided the term as a subterfuge to mask what is otherwise known as dictatorship. A dictatorship is usually defined as an autocratic Form of government in which the Government is ruled by a Dictator. 
During the term, Putin was widely criticized in the West and also by Russian liberals for what many observers considered a wide-scale crackdown on media freedoms (See also Media freedom in Russia). Since the early 1990s, a number of Russian reporters who have covered the situation in Chechnya, contentious stories on organized crime, state and administrative officials, and large businesses have been killed. The Chechen Republic (ˈʧɛʧɨn rɪˈpʌblɨk Чече́нская Респу́блика Chechenskaya Respublika; Нохчийн Республика Noxçiyn Respublika  On October 7, 2006, Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist who ran a campaign exposing corruption in the Russian army and its conduct in Chechnya, was shot in the lobby of her apartment building. Events 3761 BC - The epoch (origin of the modern Hebrew calendar ( Proleptic Julian calendar) Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya ( Анна Степановна Политковская) (30 August 1958 – 7 October 2006 was a Russian Journalist, author and The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (UTC (Вооружённые Си́лы Росси́йской Федера́ции Transliteration Vooruzhyónniye Síly Rossíyskoy Federátsii The Chechen Republic (ˈʧɛʧɨn rɪˈpʌblɨk Чече́нская Респу́блика Chechenskaya Respublika; Нохчийн Республика Noxçiyn Respublika The death of this Russian journalist triggered an outcry of criticism of Russia in the Western media, with accusations that, at best, Putin has failed to protect the country's new independent media.   When asked about Politkovskaya murder in his interview with the German TV channel ARD, Putin said that her murder brings much more harm to the Russian authorities than her publications. ARD ( Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland &ndash "Consortium of public-law broadcasting institutions of  In his interview with Izvestia in April 2008, Dmitry Dovgiy from Russia's Prosecutor General's Office said he is convinced that Politkovskaya murder was masterminded by Boris Berezovsky, citing the organizers' intent to "demonstrate that famous people can be murdered [in Russia] in the daylight" without being punished. For the Thoroughbred racehorse see Izvestia (horse Izvestia (Известия) is a long-running high-circulation daily Newspaper Boris Abramovich Berezovsky (Бори́с Абра́мович Березо́вский (also known as Platon Elenin (born January 23, 1946) is a Russian  In January 2008, Oleg Panfilov, head of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, maintained that a system of "judicial terrorism" had started against journalists under Putin and that more than 300 criminal cases had been opened against them over the past six years. 
At the same time, according to 2005 research by VCIOM, the share of Russians approving censorship on TV grew in a year from 63% to 82%; sociologists believed that Russians were not voting in favor of press freedom suppression, but rather for expulsion of ethically doubtful material (such as scenes of violence and sex). VCIOM is the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM Founding of VTsIOM The founding and development of the agency was intertwined with the career of Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable harmful or sensitive as determined by a censor 
In a 2007 interview with newspaper journalists from G8 countries, Putin spoke out in favor of a longer presidential term in Russia, saying "a term of five, six or seven years in office would be entirely acceptable".  According to the constitution of Russia, the President is elected for a term of four years. 
On September 12, 2007, Russian news agencies reported that Putin dissolved the government upon the request of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Events 1213 - Albigensian Crusade: Simon de Montfort 5th Earl of Leicester, defeats Peter II of Aragon at the Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov (Михаи́л Ефи́мович Фрадко́в (born September 1, 1950) is a Russian politician who was the Prime Fradkov commented that it was to give the President a "free hand" to make decisions in the run-up to the parliamentary election. Viktor Zubkov was appointed the new prime minister. Viktor Alekseyevich Zubkov (Ви́ктор Алексе́евич Зубко́в born September 15 1941, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Soviet Union) is 
In December 2007, Putin-backed United Russia won 64. United Russia (Единая Россия Yedinaya Rossiya) is a major Political party in the Russian Federation. 24% of the popular vote in their run for State Duma according to election preliminary results. The State Duma (Государственная дума (Gosudarstvennaya Duma common abbreviation Госдума (Gosduma in the Russian Federation is the  Their closest competitor, the Communist Party of Russia, won approximately 12% of votes.  United Russia's victory in December 2007 elections is seen by many as an indication of strong popular support of the current Russian leadership and its policies. 
The end of 2007 saw what both Russian and Western analysts viewed as an increasingly bitter infighting between various factions of the siloviki that make up a significant part of Putin's inner circle. A Silovik (силови́к plural siloviks or siloviki силовики́ from a Russian word for force) is a Russian politician  
The Russian sociologist Igor Eidman (VCIOM) qualifies the regime that has solidified under Putin as "the power of bureaucratic oligarchy" which has "the traits of extreme right-wing dictatorship — the dominance of state-monopoly capital in the economy, silovoki structures in governance, clericalism and statism in ideology". Oligarchy' ( Greek, Oligarkhía) is a Form of government where Political power effectively rests with a small elite segment The theory of state monopoly capitalism ("Stamocap" or "Stamokap" theory was initially a Marxist doctrine popularised after World War II Clericalism is the application of the formal church-based leadership or opinion of ordained clergy in matters of either the church or broader political and sociocultural import Statism (or Etatism) is a very loose and often Derogatory term that is used to describe Specific instances of state intervention in personal social  Some analysts assess the socio-economic system which has emerged in Russia as profoundly unstable and the situation in the Kremlin after Dmitry Medvedev's nomination as fraught with a coup d'état, as "Putin has built a political construction that resembles a pyramid which rests on its tip, rather than on its base". Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev ( Dmitrij Anatol′evič Medvedev;; born 14 September 1965 is currently President of Russia, inaugurated on 7 May 2008 
Gregory Feifer wrote in February 2008: "The main lesson we should have learned from Putin's eight years in office is a recognition that under the traditional Russian political system that he has revitalized, not only do officials not mean what they say, but also that obfuscation is essential to the way it all works. <. . . > Putin's playing of the Russian political game has been virtuosic. " On the eve of his stepping down as president the FT editorialised: "Mr Putin will remain Russia’s real ruler for some time to come. The Financial Times ( FT) is a British international business Newspaper. And the ex-KGB men he promoted will stay close to the seat of power. "
On February 8, 2008, Putin delivered a speech before the expanded session of the State Council headlined "On the Strategy of Russia's Development until 2020", which was interpreted by the Russian media as his "political bequest". Events 421 - Constantius III becomes co- Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common The speech was largely devoted to castigating the state of affairs in the 1990s and setting ambitious targets of economic growth by 2020.  He also condemned NATO's expansion and the US plan to include Poland and the Czech Republic in a missile defence shield and promised that "Russia has, and always will have, responses to these new challenges". 
In his last days in office he was reported to have taken a series of steps to re-align the regional bureaucracy to make the governors report to the prime-minister rather than the president.  The presidential site explained that "the changes. . . bear a refining nature and do not affect the essential positions of the system. The key role in estimating the effectiveness of activity of regional authority still belongs to President of the Russian Federation. "
Under the Putin administration, Russia's economy saw the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase 6 fold, climbing from 22nd to 10th largest in the world. PLEASE NO RANDOM FIGURES THERE ARE NO FIGURES BASED ON NATIONAL STATISTICS IN THIS ARTICLE The economy made real gains of an average 7% per year (2000: 10%, 2001: 5. The list of Countries of the world sorted by their Gross domestic product (real growth rate shows the increase in value of all final goods and services produced 7%, 2002: 4. 9%, 2003: 7. 3%, 2004: 7. 1%, 2005: 6. 5%, 2006: 6. 7%, 2007: 8. 1%), making it the 7th largest economy in the world in purchasing power. There are three lists of Countries of the world sorted by their Gross domestic product (GDP (the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation In 2007, Russia's GDP exceeded that of Russian SFSR in 1990, meaning it has overcome the devastating consequences of the 1998 financial crisis and preceding recession in the 1990s. 
During Putin's eight years in office, industry grew by 75%, investments increased by 125%, and agricultural production and construction increased as well. Real incomes more than doubled and the average salary increased eightfold from $80 to $640.  The volume of consumer credit between 2000–2006 increased 45 times, and during that same time period, the middle class grew from 8 million to 55 million, an increase of 7 times. The number of people living below the poverty line also decreased from 30% in 2000 to 14% in 2008.  A number of large-scale reforms in retirement (2002), banking (2001–2004), tax (2000–2003), the monetization of benefits (2005) and others have taken place.
The flow of petrodollars was the foundation of Putin's regime and masked economic woes. A petrodollar is a US dollar earned by a country through the sale of petroleum The share of oil and gas in Russia's gross domestic product has more than doubled since 1999 and as of Q2 2008 stood at above 30%. Oil and gas account for 50% of Russian budget revenues and 65% of its exports. 
Some oil revenue went to stabilization fund established in 2004. The Stabilization fund of the Russian Federation (Стабилизационный фонд Российской Федерации wasestablished by resolution of the Government The fund accumulated oil revenue, which proved to be a wise policy having allowed Russia to repay all of the Soviet Union's debts by 2005. In early 2008, it was split into the Reserve Fund (designed to protect Russia from possible global financial shocks) and the National Welfare Fund, whose revenues will be used for a pension reform. 
Inflation remained a problem however, as the government failed to contain the growth of prices. In economics inflation or price inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services over a period of time Between 1999–2007 inflation was kept at the forecast ceiling only twice, and in 2007 the inflation exceeded that of 2006, continuing an upward trend at the beginning of 2008.  The Russian economy is still commodity-driven despite its growth. Payments from the fuel and energy sector in the form of customs duties and taxes accounted for nearly half of the federal budget's revenues. The large majority of Russia's exports are made up by raw materials and fertilizers, although exports as a whole accounted for only 8. 7% of the GDP in 2007, compared to 20% in 2000.  There is also a growing gap between rich and poor in Russia. Between 2000–2007 the incomes of the rich grew from approximately 14 times to 17 times larger than the incomes of the poor. The income differentiation ratio shows that the 10% of Russia's rich live increasingly better than the 10% of the poor, amongst whom are mostly pensioners and unskilled workers in depressive regions. (See: Gini Coefficient)
In 2003 Mr. The Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion most prominently used as a measure of inequality of income distribution or inequality of wealth Putin switched the responsibilities for the State Committee for Environmental Protection to the Natural Resources Ministry which according to Greenpeace has a history of backing illegal and environmentally hazardous projects. Greenpeace, originally known as the Greenpeace Foundation, was founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1972 "Russia is now absolutely defenseless against the armada of industrialists and businessmen who impudently rob the country of its natural resources" says the director of Greenpeace in Russia, Sergei Tsyplenkov. "The population of the country is deprived of its basic right, secured by the constitution, the right to a healthy environment. "  However, in 2004 President Putin signed signed the Kyoto Protocol treaty designed to reduce green house gasses. 
Recently during the past election Putin and his assumed successor have been talking about the need for Russia to crack down on polluting companies and clean up Russia’s environment. He has been quoted as saying “Working to protect nature must become the systematic, daily obligation of state authorities at all levels. ” Mr Medvedev, the man Mr. Putin is supporting to win the presidential poll and succeed him, has also been quoted as saying "There is not much they fear because the penalty for environmental damage is frequently 10 times, even 100 times less than the fees to meet environmental requirements. " 
(Main Article: Foreign Policy of Vladimir Putin)
In international affairs, Putin has been publicly increasingly critical of the foreign policies of the US and other Western countries. The foreign policy of Vladimir Putin concerns the policy initiatives made towards other states by the current Prime Minister of Russia. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the In February 2007, at the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy, he criticised what he calls the United States' monopolistic dominance in global relations, and pointed out that the United States displayed an "almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations". The Munich Conference on Security Policy (Münchner Konferenz für Sicherheitspolitik is an annual Conference on International security Policy that is He said the result of it is that "no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them. International law is the term commonly used for referring to the system of implicit and explicit agreements that bind together nation-states in adherence to recognized values and standards Of course such a policy stimulates an arms race. "
He called for a "fair and democratic world order that would ensure security and prosperity not only for a select few, but for all". He proposed certain initiatives such as establishing international centres for the enrichment of uranium and prevention of deploying weapons in outer space. Enriched uranium is a kind of Uranium in which the percent composition of Uranium-235 has been increased through the process of Isotope separation.  In his January 2007 interview Putin said Russia is in favour of a democratic multipolar world and of strengthening the system of international law. 
While Putin is often characterised as an autocrat by the Western media and some politicians, his relationship with American President George W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, former French President Jacques Chirac, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are reported to be personally friendly. The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. Prairie Chapel Ranch is a 1583 Acre (64 km² estate located seven miles (10 km northwest of Crawford Texas, considered the Western White House An autocracy is a Form of government in which the Political power is held by a single self-appointed ruler George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. Anthony Charles Lynton "Tony" Blair (born 6 May 1953 is a British Politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to The Head of government of Germany is called Chancellor (Kanzler ˌɡeɐ̯haɐ̯t fʁɪʦ kʊɐ̯t ˈʃʁøːdɐ (born 7 April 1944 German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005 (born 29 September 1936 is an Italian politician, Entrepreneur, Real estate and Insurance Tycoon, Bank and Media proprietor Putin's relationship with Germany's new Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is reported to be "cooler" and "more business-like" than his partnership with Gerhard Schröder. (ˈaŋɡela doʁoˈteːa ˈmɛɐ̯kəl (born Angela Dorothea Kasner, 17 July 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany) is the Chancellor of Germany. 
In the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States, he agreed to the establishment of coalition military bases in Central Asia before and during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan. Central Asia is a region of Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to central China in the east and from southern Russia in the north to northern Pakistan in the south The War in Afghanistan, which began on October 7 2001 as the U Russian nationalists objected to the establishment of any US military presence on the territory of the former Soviet Union, and had expected Putin to keep the US out of the Central Asian republics, or at the very least extract a commitment from Washington to withdraw from these bases as soon as the immediate military necessity had passed.
During the Iraq crisis of 2003, Putin opposed Washington's move to invade Iraq without the benefit of a United Nations Security Council resolution explicitly authorizing the use of military force. The issue of Iraq's disarmament reached a crisis in 2002-2003 when U For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. After the official end of the war was announced, American president George W. Bush asked the United Nations to lift sanctions on Iraq. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Putin supported lifting of the sanctions in due course, arguing that the UN commission first be given a chance to complete its work on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The United Nations ( UN) is an International organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in International law, International security
In 2005, Putin and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder negotiated the construction of a major gas pipeline over the Baltic exclusively between Russia and Germany. Nord Stream (Северный поток Nordeuropäische Gasleitung Gazociąg Północny former names North Transgas and North European Gas Pipeline; also Schröder also attended Putin's 53rd birthday in Saint Petersburg the same year.
The CIS, seen in Moscow as its traditional sphere of influence, became one of the foreign policy priorities under Putin, as the EU and NATO have grown to encompass much of Central Europe and, more recently, the Baltic states. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in The North Atlantic Treaty Central Europe is the Region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and The Baltic states (Balti riigid Baltijas valstis Baltijos valstybės or Baltic countries are three countries in Northern Europe, all members of the
During the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, Putin twice visited Ukraine before the election to show his support for Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was widely seen as a pro-Kremlin candidate, and he congratulated him on his anticipated victory before the official election returns had been in. Roh Moo-hyun (nomuʝʌn (born in August 6, 1946 in Kimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea is a former President of South Korea George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. The presidential election held in November and December 2004 in Ukraine was mostly a political battle between Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych ( Ukrainian: Viktor Fedorovyč Janukovyč; Виктор Фёдорович Янукович (born on July 9, 1950 Putin's personal support for Yanukovych was criticized as unwarranted interference in the affairs of a sovereign state (See also The Orange revolution). The Orange Revolution (Помаранчева революція Pomarancheva revolyutsiya) was a series of Protests and political events that took place in Ukraine Crises also developed in Russia's relations with Georgia and Moldova, both former Soviet republics accusing Moscow of supporting separatist entities in their territories. Georgia ( საქართველო, Sakartvelo) is a Transcontinental country in the Caucasus region situated at the dividing line between Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova ( Republica Moldova) is a Landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania Moscow's policies under Putin towards these states are viewed by politicians in the West as "efforts to bully democratic neighbors".  Hillary Clinton in a December 2007, article in Foreign Affairs said "Putin has also suppressed many of the freedoms won after the fall of communism, created a new class of oligarchs, and interfered deeply in the internal affairs of former Soviet republics. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26 1947 is the junior United States Senator from Foreign Affairs is an influential American Journal on International relations published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR " On another occasion, Clinton also made her other famous remarks about Putin by saying the following: "He was a KGB agent. By definition he doesn’t have a soul".  When asked at a press conference on February 14, 2008 about Clinton's remarks regarding his soul, Putin was quoted as saying the following in response: "I think that a statesman must have a head as a minimum. And in order to build interstate relationships, one must be governed by the fundamental interest of one's own country rather than by emotions. "
Putin took an active personal part in promoting the Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate signed 17 May 2007 that restored relations between the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia after the 80-year schism . The Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate reunited the two branches of the Russian Orthodox Church: the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR Events 1521 - Edward Stafford 3rd Duke of Buckingham, is executed for Treason. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Ру́сская Правосла́вная Це́рковь Заграни́цей ru Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov' Zagranitsey
In his annual address to the Federal Assembly on April 26, 2007, Putin announced plans to declare a moratorium on the observance of the CFE Treaty by Russia until all NATO members ratified it and started observing its provisions, as Russia had been doing on a unilateral basis. Events 1467 - The miraculous image in Our Lady of Good Counsel appear in Genazzano, Italy. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. The original Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe ( CFE) was negotiated and concluded during the last years of the Cold War and established comprehensive limits Putin argues that as new NATO members have not even signed the treaty so far, an imbalance in the presence of NATO and Russian armed forces in Europe creates a real threat and an unpredictable situation for Russia.  NATO members said they would refuse to ratify the treaty until Russia complied with its 1999 commitments made in Istanbul whereby Russia should remove troops and military equipment from Moldova and Georgia. Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova ( Republica Moldova) is a Landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania Georgia ( საქართველო, Sakartvelo) is a Transcontinental country in the Caucasus region situated at the dividing line between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted as saying in response that "Russia has long since fulfilled all its Istanbul obligations relevant to CFE". Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov (Серге́й Ви́кторович Лавро́в born March 21, 1950, in Moscow) is the Foreign Minister  Russia has suspended its participation in the CFE as of midnight Moscow time on December 11, 2007.  On December 12, 2007, the United States officially said it "deeply regretted the Russian Federation's decision to 'suspend' implementation of its obligations under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). Events 627 - Battle of Nineveh: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeats Emperor Khosrau II 's Persian Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. " State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, in a written statement, added that "Russia's conventional forces are the largest on the European continent, and its unilateral action damages this successful arms control regime. " NATO's primary concern arising from Russia's suspension is that Moscow could now accelerate its military presence in the Northern Caucasus. The North Caucasus, also Ciscaucasus, Ciscaucasia or Forecaucasia, is the northern part of the Caucasus region between Europe 
The months following Putin's Munich speech were marked by tension and a surge in rhetoric on both sides of the Atlantic. Munich (München; Minga is the capital city of Bavaria, Germany. So, Vladimir Putin said at the anniversary of the Victory Day, "these threats are not becoming fewer but are only transforming and changing their appearance. These new threats, just as under the Third Reich, show the same contempt for human life and the same aspiration to establish an exclusive dictate over the world. " This was interpreted by some Russian and Western commentators as comparing the U. S. to Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany and the Third Reich are the common English names for Germany under the regime of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers On the eve of the 33rd Summit of the G8 in Heiligendamm, American journalist Anne Applebaum, who is married to a Polish politician, wrote that "Whether by waging cyberwarfare on Estonia, threatening the gas supplies of Lithuania, or boycotting Georgian wine and Polish meat, he [Putin] has, over the past few years, made it clear that he intends to reassert Russian influence in the former communist states of Europe, whether those states want Russian influence or not. The seaside resort Heiligendamm, situated on the Baltic Sea coast was founded in 1793. Anne Elizabeth Applebaum (born 25 July 1964 is a journalist and Pulitzer Prize -winning Author who has Cyberattacks on Estonia (also known as the Estonian Cyberwar) refers to a series of Cyber attacks that began April 27, 2007 and swamped websites The 2006 Russian import ban of Moldovan and Georgian wines began in late- March 2006 and created a diplomatic conflict between the Republic of Moldova At the same time, he has also made it clear that he no longer sees Western nations as mere benign trading partners, but rather as Cold War-style threats. Cold War is the state of conflict tension and competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR and their respective allies from the "
British historian Max Hastings described Putin as "Stalin's spiritual heir" in his article "Will we have to fight Russia in this Century?". Sir Max Hastings, FRSL (born December 28, 1945) is a British Journalist, editor, Historian and Author Joseph Stalin ( ნამდვილი გვარი ჯუღაშვილი|Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; March 5 1953 was General Secretary of the Communist Party  British academic Norman Stone in his article "No wonder they like Putin" compared Putin to General Charles de Gaulle. Norman Stone ( 1941 — is a British academic who was born in Glasgow, Scotland on March 8 1941. Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle ( ( 22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970) was a French General and statesman who led the Free French  Adi Ignatius argues that "Putin. . . is not a Stalin. There are no mass purges in Russia today, no broad climate of terror. But Putin is reconstituting a strong state, and anyone who stands in his way will pay for it. " In the same article, Hastings continues that although "a return to the direct military confrontation of the Cold War is unlikely", "the notion of Western friendship with Russia is a dead letter". Cold War is the state of conflict tension and competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR and their respective allies from the  Both Russian and American officials always denied the idea of a new Cold War. The US defence secretary Robert Gates said on the Munich Conference: "We all face many common problems and challenges that must be addressed in partnership with other countries, including Russia. Robert Michael Gates (born September 25 1943) is currently serving as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense. . . . One Cold War was quite enough. " Vladimir Putin said prior to 33rd G8 Summit, on June 4: "we do not want confrontation; we want to engage in dialogue. Events 781 BC - The first historic Solar eclipse is recorded in China. However, we want a dialogue that acknowledges the equality of both parties’ interests. "
Putin publicly opposed a U.S. missile shield in Europe, and presented President George W. Bush with a counterproposal on June 7, 2007 of sharing the use of the Soviet-era radar system in Azerbaijan rather than building a new system in the Czech Republic. National missile defense (NMD as a generic term is a type of Missile defense: a military strategy and associated systems to shield an entire country against incoming George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. Events 1099 - The First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem begins Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Azerbaijan ( English; Azərbaycan officially the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan Respublikası is the largest and most populous country in the South The Czech Republic ( ˈt͡ʃɛskaː ˈrɛpuˌblɪka short form in Česko ˈt͡ʃɛskɔ also called Czechia, Putin expressed readiness to modernize the Gabala radar station, which has been in operation since 1986. Putin proposed it would not be necessary to place interceptor missiles in Poland then, but interceptors could be placed in NATO member Turkey or Iraq. Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Putin suggested also equal involvement of interested European countries in the project. 
In a June 4, 2007, interview to journalists of G8 countries, when answering the question of whether Russian nuclear forces may be focused on European targets in case "the United States continues building a strategic shield in Poland and the Czech Republic", Putin admitted that "if part of the United States’ nuclear capability is situated in Europe and that our military experts consider that they represent a potential threat then we will have to take appropriate retaliatory steps. Events 781 BC - The first historic Solar eclipse is recorded in China. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. What steps? Of course we must have new targets in Europe. "
The end of 2006 brought strained relations between Russia and Britain in the wake of the death of a former FSB officer in London by poisoning. Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko (Алекса́ндр Ва́льтерович Литвине́нко ( 30 August 1962 – 23 November 2006 On July 20, 2007 UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown expelled "four Russian envoys over Putin's refusal to extradite ex-KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi, wanted in the UK for the murder of fellow former spy Alexander Litvinenko in London. WikipediaManual of Style (biographies#Academic titles --> James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951 is Andrei Lugovoi (Lugovoy (Андрей Луговой b September 19 1966, Azerbaijan SSR) is a Russian politician and businessman and deputy of the Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko (Алекса́ндр Ва́льтерович Литвине́нко ( 30 August 1962 – 23 November 2006 " The Russian constitution prohibits the extradition of Russian nationals to third countries. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that "this situation is not unique, and other countries have amended their constitutions, for example to give effect to the European Arrest Warrant". David Wright Miliband 
Miliband's statement was widely publicized by Russian media as a British proposal to change the Russian constitution.  According to VCIOM, 62% of Russians are against changing the Constitution in this respect. VCIOM is the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM Founding of VTsIOM The founding and development of the agency was intertwined with the career of  The British Ambassador in Moscow Tony Brenton said that the UK is not asking Russia to break its Constitution, but rather interpret it in such a way that would make Lugovoi's extradition possible.  Putin, in response, advised British officials to "fix their heads" rather than propose changing the Russian constitution and said that the British proposals were "a relic of a colonial-era mindset". 
When Litvinenko was dying from radiation poisoning, he allegedly accused Putin of directing the assassination in a statement which was released shortly after his death by his friend Alex Goldfarb. Alexander Goldfarb (born in 1947 in Moscow) is a Jewish-Russian-Israeli-American microbiologist activist and author  Critics have doubted that Litvinenko is the true author of the released statement.  When asked about the Litvinenko accusations, Putin said that a statement released after death of its author "naturally deserves no comment". 
The expulsions were seen as "the biggest rift since the countries expelled each other's diplomats in 1996 after a spying dispute. " In response to the situation, Putin stated "I think we will overcome this mini-crisis. Russian-British relations will develop normally. On both the Russian side and the British side, we are interested in the development of those relations. " Despite this, British Ambassador Tony Brenton was told by the Russian Foreign Ministry that UK diplomats would be given 10 days before they were expelled in response. Sir Tony Brenton KCMG full name Anthony Russell Brenton, born 1 January 1950 is a career diplomat The Russian government also announced that it would suspend issuing visas to UK officials and froze cooperation on counterterrorism in response to Britain suspending contacts with their Federal Security Service. 
Alexander Shokhin, president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs warned that British investors in Russia will "face greater scrutiny from tax and regulatory authorities. [And] They could also lose out in government tenders". Some see the crisis as originating with Britain's decision to grant Putin's former patron, Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, political asylum in 2003. Boris Abramovich Berezovsky (Бори́с Абра́мович Березо́вский (also known as Platon Elenin (born January 23, 1946) is a Russian Earlier in 2007, Berezovsky had called for the overthrow of Putin. 
On December 10, 2007, Russia ordered the British Council to halt work at its regional offices in what was seen as the latest round of a dispute over the murder of Alexander Litvinenko; Britain said Russia's move was illegal. Events 1041 - Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevates her adoptive son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. The British Council is a Public Body of the United Kingdom Government which specialises in educational and development opportunities 
Following the Peace Mission 2007 military exercises jointly conducted by the SCO member states, Putin announced on August 17, 2007 the resumption on a permanent basis of long-distance patrol flights of Russia's strategic bombers that were suspended in 1992. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation ( SCO) is an Intergovernmental mutual-security organization which was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Events 986 - A Byzantine army was destroyed in the pass of Trajan's Gate by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.  US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack was quoted as saying in response that "if Russia feels as though they want to take some of these old aircraft out of mothballs and get them flying again, that's their decision. Sean McCormack is an American Assistant Secretary of State. He was sworn in as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Department Spokesman on June 2 " The announcement made during the SCO summit in the light of joint Russian-Chinese military exercises, first-ever in history to be held on Russian territory, makes some believe that Putin is inclined to set up an anti-NATO bloc or the Asian version of OPEC. The North Atlantic Treaty The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries ( OPEC) is a Cartel of thirteen countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador  When presented with the suggestion that "Western observers are already likening the SCO to a military organisation that would stand in opposition to NATO", Putin answered that "this kind of comparison is inappropriate in both form and substance".  Russian Chief of the General Staff Yury Baluyevsky was quoted as saying that "there should be no talk of creating a military or political alliance or union of any kind, because this would contradict the founding principles of SCO". General of the Army Yury Nikolayevich Baluyevsky (Юрий Николаевич Балуевский born 9 January 1947 
The resumption of long-distance flights of Russia's strategic bombers was followed by the announcement by Russian Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov during his meeting with Putin on December 5, 2007, that 11 ships, including the aircraft carrier Kuznetsov, would take part in the first major navy sortie into the Mediterranean since Soviet times. Anatoliy Eduardovich Serdyukov (Анатолий Эдуардович Сердюкóв (b Events 63 BC - Cicero reads the last of his Catiline Orations. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Role While designated an aircraft carrier by the West the design of the Admiral Kuznetsov' class implies a mission different from that of either the United States  The sortie was to be backed up by 47 aircraft, including strategic bombers.  According to Serdyukov, this is an effort to resume regular Russian naval patrols on the world's oceans, the view that is also supported by Russian media.  The military analyst from Novaya Gazeta Pavel Felgenhauer believes that the accident-prone Kuznetsov is scarcely seaworthy and is more of a menace to her crew than any putative enemy. Novaya Gazeta (Новая Газета is a Russian newspaper Dr Pavel E Felgenhauer is a opposition affiliated Moscow -based defense analyst and columnist in Novaya Gazeta.
In September 2007, Putin visited Indonesia and in doing so became the first Russian leader to visit the country in more than 50 years.  In the same month, Putin also attended the APEC meeting held in Sydney, Australia where he met with Australian Prime Minister John Howard and signed an uranium trade deal. Sydney (ˈsɪdniː is the most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 4 For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. See also Howard Government John Winston Howard AC (born 26 July 1939 was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia from 11 March This was the first visit of a Russian president to Australia.
On October 16, 2007 Putin visited Tehran, Iran to participate in the Second Caspian Summit, where he met with Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Events 456 - Magister militum Ricimer defeats the Emperor Avitus at Piacenza and becomes master of the western Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Tehran (or Teheran) ( Persian: تهران Tehrān) is the capital and largest City of Iran, and the administrative center of For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (محمود احمدینژاد; born October 28, 1956) is the sixth and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Other participants were leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. Azerbaijan ( English; Azərbaycan officially the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan Respublikası is the largest and most populous country in the South Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the Turkmenistan ( Türkmenistan; also known as Turkmenia) is a Turkic country in Central Asia.  This is the first visit of a Russian leader to Iran since Joseph Stalin's participation in the Tehran Conference in 1943. Joseph Stalin ( ნამდვილი გვარი ჯუღაშვილი|Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; March 5 1953 was General Secretary of the Communist Party The Tehran Conference ( Codenamed EUREKA) was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D  At a press conference after the summit Putin said that "all our (Caspian) states have the right to develop their peaceful nuclear programmes without any restrictions".  During the summit it was also agreed that its participants, under no circumstances, would let any third-party state use their territory as a base for aggression or military action against any other participant. 
On October 26, 2007, at a press conference following the 20th Russia-EU Summit in Portugal, Putin proposed creating a Russian-European Institute for Freedom and Democracy headquartered either in Brussels or in one of the European capitals, and added that "we are ready to supply funds for financing it, just as Europe covers the costs of projects in Russia". Events 740 - An Earthquake strikes Constantinople, causing much damage and death Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa is a country on the Iberian Peninsula.  This newly proposed institution is expected to monitor human rights violations in Europe and contribute to development of European democracy. 
Vladimir Putin strongly opposes secession of Kosovo from Serbia. Serbia (Србија Srbija) officially the Republic of Serbia (Република Србија Republika Srbija) is a Landlocked Country He called any support for this act "immoral" and "illegal".  He described Kosovo's declaration of independence a 'terrible precedent' that will come back to hit the West 'in the face'.  He stated that Kosovo precedent will de facto destroy the whole system of international relations, developed not over decades, but over centuries. 
Robert Kagan, reflecting on what underlay the fundamental rift between Putin's Russia and the EU wrote in February 2008: " Europe's nightmares are the 1930s; Russia's nightmares are the 1990s. Robert Kagan (born September 26 1958 in Athens, Greece) is an American Neoconservative political commentator Europe sees the answer to its problems in transcending the nation-state and power. For Russians, the solution is in restoring them. So what happens when a 21st-century entity faces the challenge of a 19th-century power? The contours of the conflict are already emerging—in diplomatic stand-offs over Kosovo, Ukraine, Georgia and Estonia; in conflicts over gas and oil pipelines; in nasty diplomatic exchanges between Russia and Britain; and in a return to Russian military exercises of a kind not seen since the Cold War. Europeans are apprehensive, with good reason. "
Talks on a new Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA), signed in 1997, remained stymied till the end of Putin's presidency due to vetos by Poland and later Lithuania. 
According to public opinion surveys conducted by Levada Center, Putin's approval rating was 81% in June 2007, and the highest of any leader in the world. VCIOM is the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM Founding of VTsIOM The founding and development of the agency was intertwined with the career of  His popularity rose from 31% in August 1999 to 80% in November 1999 and since then it has never fallen below 65%.  Observers see Putin's high approval ratings as a consequence of higher living standards that improved during his rule and Russia's reassertion of itself on the world scene,. Most Russians are also deeply disillusioned with the West after all the hardships of 90s, and they no longer trust pro-western politicians associated with Yeltsin that were removed from the political scene under Putin's leadership.  Critics of Putin are seldom seen on two major national TV channels, Channel One and RTR. Channel One (Пе́рвый кана́л Pervy kanal;) is the Russian TV channel with the widest reception area They do get some exposure through independent media, which include the national Ren-TV channel , radio stations such as Echo of Moscow and a large selection of independent newspapers such as Novaya Gazeta, Moscow Times and Nezavisimaya Gazeta. REN TV ( Cyrillic: РЕН ТВ is one of the largest private federal channels in Russia. Echo of Moscow (Эхо Москвы Ekho Moskvy) is a Russian radio station based in Moscow, broadcasting in many Russian cities in some of the former-Soviet republics Novaya Gazeta (Новая Газета is a Russian newspaper The Moscow Times is an English-language daily Newspaper published in Moscow, Russia since 1992. Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Независимая Газета "independent newspaper" is a Russian language daily Newspaper, published by  InoSMI project delivers selected translations into Russian of articles dedicated to Russia from foreign and Western media online on a daily basis and has a daily audience of 70,000–90,000 visitors, most of them Russians. Inosmiru (InoSMI "ИноСМИ" in Russian a derivation from "foreign mass media") is an Internet media project that monitors and 
Despite widespread public support in Russia, Putin has also been the target of much criticism. Several reforms made under Putin’s presidency have been criticized by some privately owned Russian media outlets and many Western commentators as anti-democratic.  At the same time, a joint poll by World Public Opinion in the U. S. and NGO Levada Center  in Russia around June–July 2006 stated that "neither the Russian nor the American publics are convinced Russia is headed in an anti-democratic direction" and "Russians generally support Putin’s concentration of political power and strongly support the re-nationalization of Russia’s oil and gas industry. " Russians generally support the political course of Putin and his team.  A 2005 survey showed that three times as many Russians felt the country was "more democratic" under Putin than it was during the Yeltsin or Gorbachev years, and the same proportion thought human rights were better under Putin than Yeltsin. 
In 2006 and 2007 "Dissenters' Marches" were organized by the opposition group Other Russia, led by former chess champion Garry Kasparov and national-Bolshevist leader Eduard Limonov. The Dissenters' March (Марш несогласных was a series of political opposition protests that took place on December 16[[ 006]] in Moscow, on The Other Russia (Другая Россия Drugaya Rossiya) sometimes cited as Another Russia, is an umbrella coalition that gathered opponents of then Russian Garry Kasparov (Га́рри Ки́мович Каспа́ров) (born as Garry Kimovich Weinstein on April 13 1963 in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Eduard Limonov (Эдуард Лимонов real name Eduard Veniaminovich Savenko, Эдуард Вениаминович Савенко born February 22 1943 is a Russian Following prior warnings, demonstrations in several Russian cities were met by police action, which included interfering with the travel of the protesters and the arrests of as many as 150 people who attempted to break through police lines.  The Dissenters' Marches have received little support among the Russian general public, according to popular polls.  The Dissenters' March in Samara held in May 2007 during the Russia-EU summit attracted more journalists providing coverage of the event than actual participants.  When asked in what way the Dissenters' Marches bother him, Putin answered that such marches "shall not prevent other citizens from living a normal life".  During the Dissenters' March in Saint Petersburg on March 3, 2007, the protesters blocked automobile traffic on Nevsky Prospect, the central street of the city, much to the disturbance of local drivers. Events 1284 - Statute of Rhuddlan incorporated the Principality of Wales into England 1575 - Indian Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.  The Governor of Saint Petersburg, Valentina Matvienko, commented on the event that "it is important to give everyone the opportunity to criticize the authorities, but this should be done in a civilized fashion".  When asked about Kasparov's arrest, Putin replied that during his arrest Kasparov was speaking English rather than Russian, and suggested that he was targeting a Western audience rather than his own people.  Putin has said that some domestic critics are being funded and supported by foreign enemies who would prefer to see a weak Russia.  In his speech at the United Russia meeting in Luzhniki: "Those who oppose us don't want us to realize our plan. United Russia (Единая Россия Yedinaya Rossiya) is a major Political party in the Russian Federation. . . . They need a weak, sick state! They need a disorganized and disoriented society, a divided society, so that they can do their deeds behind its back and eat cake on our tab. ".
In early 2005, a youth organization called Nashi (meaning 'Ours' or 'Our Own People') was created in Russia, which positions itself as a democratic, anti-fascist organization. Nashi ('Молодежное движение «Наши»' Molodezhnoye dvizhyenye "Nashi" 'Youth Movement "Ours!"' is a government-funded Youth movement Its creation was encouraged by some of the most senior figures in the Administration of the President, and by 2007 it grew to some 120,000 members (between the ages of 17 and 25). One of Nashi's major stated aims was to prevent a repeat of the 2004 Orange Revolution during the Russian elections: as its leader Vasily Yakemenko said, "the enemies must not perform unconstitutional takeovers". The Orange Revolution (Помаранчева революція Pomarancheva revolyutsiya) was a series of Protests and political events that took place in Ukraine Vasily Grigoryevich Yakemenko (Василий Григорьевич Якеменко b  Kremlin adviser, Sergei Markov said about the activists of Nashi: "They want Russia to be a modern, strong and free country. . . Their ideology is clear — it is modernization of the country and preservation of its sovereignty with that. "
Nashi has been referred to as "Putin Youth", the "loyal youth brigade" and "Putinjugend" in the Western media. Putinjugend may refer to Walking Together, Russian youth movement that was created in May 2000  The Boston Globe said that "movement's brownshirt tactics certain evoke shades of Hitler Youth, as does the emphasis on physical fitness, clean living, and procreation for the Motherland". For the SS division with the nickname Hitlerjugend see 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend The Hitler Youth ( German:,  Some British and American journalists view the emergence of this and, more recently, other similar organisations, such as Young Guard and Locals, as one of the signs of Russia under Putin "sliding into fascism, with state control of the economy, media, politics and society becoming increasingly heavy-handed".  In early 2008 it was reported that Nashi and other similar youth movements would be "radically reorganized" and would no longer function as a centralized federal project. The youth movements say they no longer need to organize street protests now that there is no longer a threat of an orange revolution in Russia. Political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky explained: "Putin was dissatisfied with how Nashi was faring, they were causing tensions with the West. Medvedev positions himself as a friend of the West, and aggressive national patriotic support does not fit in with that image". 
In July 2007 Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal wrote: "Russia has become, in the precise sense of the word, a fascist state. Bret Louis Stephens is a writer and news commentator for the Wall Street Journal. It does not matter here, as the Kremlin's apologists are so fond of pointing out, that Mr. Putin is wildly popular in Russia: Popularity is what competent despots get when they destroy independent media, stoke nationalistic fervor with military buildups and the cunning exploitation of the Church, and ride a wave of petrodollars to pay off the civil service and balance their budgets. Nor does it matter that Mr. Putin hasn't re-nationalized the "means of production" outright; corporatism was at the heart of Hitler's economic policy, too. " 
Putin was Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2007, given the title for his "extraordinary feat of leadership in taking a country that was in chaos and bringing it stability". Time (trademarked in capitals as TIME) is a weekly American Newsmagazine, similar to Newsweek and Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year) is an annual issue of the United States Newsmagazine Time that features and profiles  Time said that "TIME's Person of the Year is not and never has been an honor. It is not an endorsement. It is not a popularity contest. At its best, it is a clear-eyed recognition of the world as it is and of the most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world—for better or for worse". The choice provoked sarcasm from one of Russia's opposition leaders, Garry Kasparov, who recalled that Adolf Hitler had been Time's Man of the Year in 1938 and an overwhelmingly negative reaction from the magazine's readership. Hi and welcome to Wikipedia! Please understand that this article is frequently vandalized and vandalism is reverted immediately 
In April 2008, Putin was put on the Time 100 most influential people in the world list. The Time 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world as assembled by Time.  Madeleine Albright wrote: "After our first meetings, in 1999 and 2000, I described him in my journal as "shrewd, confident, hard-working, patriotic, and ingratiating. Madeleine Korbel Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová on May 15, 1937) was the first woman to become United States Secretary of State. " In the years since, he has become more confident and — to Westerners — decidedly less ingratiating. " She added "It is unlikely that Putin, 55, will wear out his welcome at home anytime soon, as he has nearly done with many democracies abroad. In the meantime, he will remain an irritant to NATO, a source of division within Europe and yet another reason for the West to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. The North Atlantic Treaty "
On December 4, 2007, at Harvard University, Mikhail Gorbachev credited Putin with having "pulled Russia out of chaos" and said he was "assured a place in history", "despite Gorbachev's acknowledgment that the news media have been suppressed and that election rules run counter to the democratic ideals he has promoted". "December 4th" redirects here For the song by Jay-Z, see December 4th (song. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev ( Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachyov;; born 2 March 1931 in Privolnoye Stavropol Krai) is a Russian politician  Nevertheless, on January 28, 2008, Gorbachev in his interview to Interfax "sharply criticized the state of Russia’s electoral system and called for extensive reforms to a system that has secured power for President Vladimir V. Interfax (Интерфакс is a Russian non-governmental News agency based in Moscow. Putin and the Kremlin’s inner circle. " Following Gorbachev's interview The Washington Post's editorial said: "No wonder that Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's last leader, felt moved to speak out. The Washington Post is the largest and most circulated Newspaper in Washington D "Something wrong is going on with our elections", he told the Interfax agency. But it's not only elections: In fact, the system that Mr. Gorbachev took apart is being meticulously reconstructed. "
In its January 2008 World Report, Human Rights Watch wrote in the section devoted to Russia: "As parliamentary and presidential elections in late 2007 and early 2008 approached, the administration headed by President Vladimir Putin cracked down on civil society and freedom of assembly. Human Rights Watch is a United States -based international Non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on Human rights. Reconstruction in Chechnya did not mask grave human rights abuses including torture, abductions, and unlawful detentions. International criticism of Russia’s human rights record remains muted, with the European Union failing to challenge Russia on its human rights record in a consistent and sustained manner. " The organization called President Putin a "repressive" and "brutal" leader on par with the leaders of Zimbabwe and Pakistan. 
On July 28, 1983 Putin married Lyudmila Shkrebneva, at that time an undergraduate student of the Spanish branch of the Philology Department of the Leningrad State University and a former airline stewardess, who had been born in Kaliningrad on January 6, 1958. Vladimir Putin's Second Cabinet (May 2008 - present time) is a cabinet of the government of the Russian Federation following the Russian presidential election Events 1540 - Thomas Cromwell is executed at the order of Henry VIII of England on charges of Treason. Year 1983 ( MCMLXXXIII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar) Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Putina (1=Людмила Александровна Путина Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Putina, née Shkrebneva Шкребнева born January See Comparative linguistics for the narrower field of "comparative philology" Saint Petersburg State University ( Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет) is a Russian federal state-owned higher Kaliningrad (Калининград is a Seaport and the administrative center of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian Exclave between Poland Events 1066 - Harold Godwinson is crowned King of England. 1205 - Philip of Swabia becomes King Year 1958 ( MCMLVIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. They have two daughters, Maria Putina (born 1985) and Yekaterina "Katya" Putina (born 1986 in Dresden). Dresden (etymologically from Old Sorbian Drežďany, meaning people of the riverside forest, Drježdźany is the Capital city of the German The daughters attended the German School in Moscow (Deutsche Schule Moskau) until his appointment as prime minister.
Since 1992, Putin has owned a dacha of about seven thousand square meters in Solovyovka, Priozersky district of the Leningrad region, which is located on the eastern shore of the Komsomol'skoye lake on the Karelian Isthmus near Saint Petersburg. Dacha ( is a Russian word for seasonal or year-round second homes located in the Exurbs of Soviet and Russian cities Leningrad Oblast (Ленингра́дская о́бласть Leningradskaya oblast) is a federal subject of Russia (an Oblast) See Karelia (disambiguation for other meanings of the name Karelia. His neighbours there are Vladimir Yakunin, Andrei Fursenko, Sergey Fursenko, Yuriy Kovalchuk, Viktor Myachin, Vladimir Smirnov and Nikolay Shamalov. Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin (Владимир Иванович Якунин born June 30, 1948 in Vladimir Andrei Aleksandrovich Fursenko ( Russian: Андрей Александрович Фурсенко born July 17, 1949 in Leningrad) is a Russian Sergey Aleksandrovich Fursenko ( Russian: Сергей Александрович Фурсенко (born in 1954 in Leningrad, Soviet Union) is a Russian Yury Valentinovich Kovalchuk ( Russian: Юрий Валентинович Ковальчук born July 25[[ 951]] Leningrad, Soviet Union) is Vladimir Alexeyevich Smirnov (in Russian Владимир Алексеевич Смирнов b On November 10, 1996, together they instituted the co-operative society Ozero (the Lake) which united their properties. Events 1444 - Battle of Varna: The crusading forces of King Vladislaus III of Varna (aka Ulaszlo I of Hungary and Wladyslaw Year 1996 ( MCMXCVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar) Ozero (Озеро meaning 'The Lake' is a co-operative society allegedly instituted on November 10 1996 by Vladimir Smirnov (head Vladimir This was confirmed by Putin's income and property declaration as a nominee for the presidency in 2000.   However, this real estate was not listed in his income and property declaration for 1998–2002 submitted before the 2004 elections. (Full text of the declaration in Russian: .doc)
Putin's father was "a model communist, genuinely believing in its ideals while trying to put them into practice in his own life. " With this dedication he became secretary of the Party cell in his workshop and then after taking night classes joined the factory’s Party bureau.  Though his father was a "militant atheist", Putin's mother "was a devoted Orthodox believer". Though she kept no icons at home, she attended church regularly (despite the government's persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church at that time). She ensured that Putin was secretly christened as a baby, and she regularly took him to services. His father knew of this but turned a blind eye.  According to Putin's own statements, his religious awakening followed the serious car crash of his wife in 1993, and was deepened by a life-threatening fire that burned down their dacha in August 1996.  Right before an official visit to Israel his mother gave him his baptismal cross telling him to get it blessed “I did as she said and then put the cross around my neck. I have never taken it off since. ” Putin repeated the story to George W. Bush in June 2001, which might have inspired Bush to make his much-derided remark that he had "got a sense of Putin's soul". George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States.  Putin is regularly shown on Russian television attending Orthodox services, lighting candles in front of icons and crossing himself, though there is no credible information about his actual participation in the Church's sacraments. See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure A sacrament, as defined in Hexam's Concise Dictionary of Religion is "a Rite in which God is uniquely active When asked whether he believes in God during his interview with Time, he responded saying: ". For other uses see Time (disambiguation Time is a component of a measuring system used to sequence events to compare the durations of . . There are things I believe, which should not in my position, at least, be shared with the public at large for everybody's consumption because that would look like self-advertising or a political striptease. "
Putin speaks German with near-native fluency. The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. His family used to speak German at home as well.  After becoming President he was reported to be taking English lessons and could be seen conversing directly with Bush and other native speakers of English in informal situations, but he continues to use interpreters for formal talks. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States Putin spoke English in public for the first time during the state dinner in Buckingham Palace in 2003 saying but a few phrases while delivering his condolences to the Queen. Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. For the ship see RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Context States headed by Elizabeth II  He made a full English speech while addressing delegates at the 119th International Olympic Committee Session in Guatemala City on behalf of the successful bid of Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Sochi (Сочи ˈsotɕɪ is a Russian Resort city, situated in Krasnodar Krai just north of the southern Russian border 
According to the official data submitted during the Russian legislative election, 2007 Putin's wealth is limited to approximately 3. Legislative elections were held in the Russian Federation on December 2 2007. 7 million rubles (approximately $150,000) in bank accounts, a private 77. The ruble or rouble (рубль rublʹ, plural ru рубли́ rubli; see note on English spelling and Russian plurals with numbers 4 square meter apartment in Saint Petersburg, 260 shares of Bank Saint Petersburg (with a December 2007 market price $5. In financial markets, a share is a Unit of account for various financial instruments including Stocks Mutual funds Limited partnerships 36 per share) and two 1960s Volga M21 cars that he inherited from his father and does not register for on-road use. Volga (Волга is automobile brand that originated in Soviet Union to replace the venerated GAZ-M20 Pobeda in 1956 Vehicle registration is usually the compulsory registration of a vehicle with a government authority Putin's total 2006 income totaled to 2 million rubles (approximately $80,000).  According to the official data Putin did not make into the top 100 most wealthy Duma candidates of his own United Russia party. A Duma (Ду́ма is any of various representative assemblies in modern Russia and Russian history United Russia (Единая Россия Yedinaya Rossiya) is a major Political party in the Russian Federation. 
On the other hand, there have been some allegations that Putin secretly owns a large fortune. According to former Chairman of the Russian State Duma Ivan Rybkin  , and Russian political scientist Stanislav Belkovsky , Putin controls a 4. The Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation (lang-rus Председатель Государственной Думы Федерального The State Duma (Государственная дума (Gosudarstvennaya Duma common abbreviation Госдума (Gosduma in the Russian Federation is the Ivan Petrovich Rybkin (b January 5, 1946) is a Russian politician was Chairman of Russia's State Duma in 1994 - 1996 This is a list of notable political scientists See the List of political theorists for those who study politics without using the Scientific method. Stanislav Alexandrovich Belkovsky (Станислав Александрович Белковский (born 1970 Riga, USSR) is a Russian political 5% stake in Gazprom ($13 billion), 37% in Surgutneftegaz (approximately $20 billion) and 50% in the oil-trading company Gunvor run by a close friend of Putin — Gennady Timchenko (last year turnover of the company was $40 billion). OJSC Gazprom, (Газпром long version Открытое Aкционерное Oбщество Газпром sometimes transcribed as Gasprom is the largest Russian company JSC Surgutneftegas () is a major oil and gas joint stock company of Russia that united several previously state-owned enterprises with large oil and gas reserves in Western Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko (also spelled Guennadi Timtchenko; Геннадий Николаевич Тимченко is a prominent Russian businessman citizen . The aggregate estimated value of these holdings would easily make Putin Russia's richest person. In December 2007, Belkovsky elaborated on his claims: "Putin's name doesn't appear on any shareholders' register, of course. There is a non-transparent scheme of successive ownership of offshore companies and funds. The final point is in Zug [in Switzerland] and Liechtenstein. Vladimir Putin should be the beneficiary owner. " This claim however has never been supported with evidence. 
Putin is not included in the world list of billionaires compiled by Forbes or the list of Russian billionaires compiled by the Finance magazine. This list of the 100 wealthiest people is a list of the world's 100 wealthiest people as of February 11 2008, based on each person's total net worth Forbes is an American Publishing and media company Its flagship publication Forbes magazine is published bi-weekly 
When asked at a press conference on February 14, 2008 that some papers wrote of him as the richest person in Europe, and if this is true, then what would be the sources of his wealth, Putin was quoted as saying the following in response: "This is true. Events 842 - Charles the Bald and Louis the German swear the Oaths of Strasbourg in the French and German 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common I am the richest person not only in Europe, but also in the world. I collect emotions. And I am rich in that respect that the people of Russia have twice entrusted me with leadership of such a great country as Russia. I consider this to be my biggest fortune. As for the rumors concerning my financial wealth, I have seen some pieces of paper regarding this. This is plain chatter, not worthy discussion, plain bosh. They have picked this in their noses and have smeared this across their pieces of paper. This is how I view this. "
One of Putin's favorite sports is the martial art of judo. Martial arts are systems of codified practices and traditions of training for Combat. meaning "gentle way" is a modern Japanese martial art ( Gendai budō) and Combat sport, that originated in Japan in the late Putin began training in sambo (a martial art that originated in the Soviet Union) at the age of 14, before switching to judo, which he continues to practice today. Sambo (самбо—also called Sombo or Cambo and sometimes written in all-caps is a modern Martial art, combat sport and Self-defense Martial arts are systems of codified practices and traditions of training for Combat. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991  Putin won competitions in his hometown of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), including the senior championship of Leningrad. Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River He is the President of the Yawara Dojo, the same Saint Petersburg dojo he practiced at when young. A is a Japanese term which literally means "place of the Way" Putin co-authored a book on his favorite sport, published in Russian as Judo with Vladimir Putin and in English under the title Judo: History, Theory, Practice. 
Though he is not the first world leader to practice judo, Putin is the first leader to move forward into the advanced levels. Currently, Putin is a black belt (6th dan) and is best known for his Harai Goshi (sweeping hip throw). The term Black belt has become widely known as way to describe an expert in Martial arts where a practitioner's level is often marked by the color of the belt is one of the original 40 throws of Judo as developed by Kano Jigoro. Vladimir Putin earned Master of Sports (Soviet and Russian sport title) in Judo in 1975 and in Sambo in 1973. Unified Sports Classification System of the USSR (Единая Всесоюзная спортивная классификация was a document which provided general meaning "gentle way" is a modern Japanese martial art ( Gendai budō) and Combat sport, that originated in Japan in the late Sambo (самбо—also called Sombo or Cambo and sometimes written in all-caps is a modern Martial art, combat sport and Self-defense After a state visit to Japan, Putin was invited to the Kodokan Institute where he showed the students and Japanese officials different judo techniques. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. is the headquarters of the Judo world Literally kō means "to lecture" or "to spread information" dō means "the way" and 
|Head of the Committee for External Relations of the Saint Petersburg City Administration|
1991 – 1996
|Chief of the Control Directorate of the Russian presidential administration|
1997 – 1998
|Director of the Federal Security Service|
1998 – 1999
|Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation|
|Prime Minister of Russia|
1999 – 2000
|President of Russia|
2000 – 2008
|Chair of the G8|
|Prime Minister of Russia|
2008 – present
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||2nd President of the Russian Federation|
|DATE OF BIRTH||October 7, 1952|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Leningrad, Soviet Union|
|DATE OF DEATH|
|PLACE OF DEATH|