When Putin came to power in 2000, his country was unstable, with a failed economy. Now, many of his fellow citizens praise him, especially for associating him with stability and a new prosperity, favored by oil activity
Ex-president of the KGB in front of the country for more than 18 years, Vladimir Putin, clear favorite for next Sunday’s elections, authoritatively embodies the ambition of a great Russia of renewed power.
„Nobody wanted to talk to us, nobody wanted to listen to us, listen to us now!“ He threw to Westerners during his last big speech, in front of Parliament in early March, presenting new „invincible“ weapons.
When Putin, 65, came to power in 2000, his country was unstable, with a failed economy. Now, many of his fellow citizens praise him, especially for associating him with stability and a new prosperity, favored by oil activity.
All this, at the price of a setback in the field of Human Rights and freedoms, according to its critics.
On the international scene, one who claimed that the demise of the Soviet Union was „the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century,“ strives to restore Russia’s influence in the world, deteriorated after the fall of the USSR and the chaotic years under the mandate of Boris Yeltsin.
As it does? Through a patient and stubborn struggle, stalking any symptom of weakness of the opponent, explained in 2013 Putin, eighth dan of judo, responding to a Russian who asked him to do everything possible to „reach and overtake“ the United States, a old goal of the Soviet era.
Putin in 2014 put on the costume of restorer of the „great Russia“ by annexing the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, after its occupation by Russian troops and a referendum. In the image, a work of the exhibition „SUPERPUTIN“ in the UMAM museum in Moscow
A technique that has been successful in Syria, where Russia’s military intervention since 2015 in support of the Damascus regime marked a turning point in the course of the war and allowed Bashar Al Asad to remain in power.
A year earlier, Putin had put on the costume of restorer of the „great Russia“ by annexing the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, after its occupation by Russian troops and a referendum considered illegal by the international community.
With this operation he improved his image at home, but unleashed the worst crisis since the end of the Cold War between Russians and Westerners, who also accuse Moscow of militarily supporting a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine, something the Kremlin denies.
Great sports fan, the Russian president also tried to make his country a sports power, which also generated an international crisis.
Russia organized in 2014 the most expensive Olympic Games in history at the seaside resort of Sochi and, in the summer of 2018, will host the most followed sporting event in the world: the football world cup. But the Kremlin’s dreams were overshadowed by accusations of doping institutionalized following the McLaren report in 2016.
Moscow has always vehemently denied these accusations, but it cost Russian athletes their participation in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and led to the exclusion of Russia at the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games.
– ‚Be the first to hit‘ –
Born on October 7, 1952 in a working family that lived in a room in a community apartment in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), there was nothing to presume that Putin would end up occupying the top of power.
Born on October 7, 1952 in a working family that lived in a room in a community apartment in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), there was nothing to presume that Putin would end up occupying the top of power
„I come from a modest family, I lived that life for a long time,“ he explains on his website dedicated to his biography. From his youth in the streets of Leningrad, the president declared in 2015 to have learned one thing: „if combat is inevitable, you have to be the first to strike“.
Graduated in Law, he entered the KGB, for which he worked as an external intelligence agent. From 1985 to 1990 he was sent to Dresden, in East Germany, a rather modest position.
After the dismemberment of the USSR, the KGB agent was retrained as an advisor for foreign relations of the new liberal mayor of St. Petersburg, and then began a brilliant ascent.
In 1996 he was required to work in the Kremlin. In 1998 he was elected director of the FSB – which replaced the KGB – and a year later he was appointed prime minister by President Boris Yeltsin, who was looking for a successor able to guarantee his security after retirement.
Yeltsin and his surroundings were seduced by the discretion and effectiveness of that man, with a clear front and penetrating gaze. Some members of Yeltsin’s circle believed that they could easily manipulate him, but he was already fully committed to restoring the authority of the State by forming a „vertical power“ that depends solely on him.
Cultivating his image as a tough guy, on October 1, 1999, after a series of attacks, the Second War of Chechnya began, a conflict marked by the abuses committed by the Russian army and the blind bombardment of Grozny.
This war will be the foundation of his popularity in Russia and his image as a leader who is not afraid to make difficult decisions.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin review an honor guard for Putin’s visit to Berlin on June 1, 2012
When Boris Yeltsin resigned in late 1999 and appointed his prime minister to succeed him, Putin had already established himself as the country’s new strong man.
After being elected in 2000 without further complications, Putin accelerated his influence in power by relying on the „structures of force“ (secret services, police, army) and their families in St. Petersburg.
– Protests –
He drove out the „oligarchs“, those businessmen who made a fortune taking advantage of the opaque privatizations of the 1990s, quickly excluded them from the political game and imprisoned the rebels, such as the director of the oil group Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, released in 2013 after 10 years. years of jail.
The Kremlin also put in chains the television networks, whose freedom of tone, inherited from the 1990s, bothers. The small screen happened to be in the service of Vladimir Putin.
Suspicious of his private life, Vladimir Putin, father of two daughters and divorced since 2013, likes to give the image of a man of simple tastes, who leads „an ordinary life“, lover of „historical novels and classical music“
In 2008, being limited to two consecutive terms by the Constitution, Putin entrusted the Kremlin to him for four years to his prime minister, Dmitri Medvedev, and put himself in front of the government.
When, at the end of 2011, he announced his intention to return to the presidency for a new term of six years, he provoked an unprecedented wave of protests.
A mobilization that faded after his re-election (without complications) in 2012, marked by the adoption of laws that the opposition called liberticides and the growing repression of all forms of protest.
Extremely suspicious of his private life, Vladimir Putin, father of two daughters and divorced since 2013, likes to give the image of a man of simple tastes, who leads „an ordinary life“, lover of „historical novels and classical music „, he said during a meeting with Russian youth.
However, he tends to flirt with the cult of personality, monopolizing media attention, either by a demonstration of judo, by going out to ride a horse without a shirt or by putting out a fire commanded by a Bombardier plane.