Rise of Vladimir Putin
For as long as he’s been in the public eye, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been a closed book, with relatively few confirmed facts about his real thinking on foreign affairs and what motivates his policy actions. His personal life, too, has been shrouded in mystery and controversy. Lets know about him from the start.
Putin was born 1952 in what used to be called Leningrad, USSR, and is now known as St. Petersburg, Russia. He is a judo black belt, appears to symbolize two of the martial art’s key qualities — guile and aggression. He served for 15 years in the KGB, the Soviet-era agency that was the counterpart to the CIA. The spy agency was a notorious symbol of the Cold War and became the focus of a slew of U.S. spy novels and movies. Throughout the following years, Putin used his network of political friendships to make his way up the ladder. In 1997, then-President Boris Yeltsin named Putin his deputy chief of staff, and a year later he was made the chief of the FSB, the post-Soviet successor to the KGB. Shortly thereafter, Yeltsin appointed Putin to be his prime minister. Putin managed to take this post despite both Yeltsin’s rivals and loyalists trying to take him down, as they all jockeyed to put themselves in position to succeed the ailing president. When Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned in 1999, Putin became acting president. One of his very first acts was to pardon Yeltsin of corruption, before setting his sights on being elected outright.
In March 2000, Putin steamrolled past the other two contenders to become president with 53 percent of the vote. One important factor in Putin’s victory was image. Unlike many of Yeltsin’s other would-be successors, Putin had taken an unrelenting position in support of the Second Chechen War. This made him appear like a strong law-and-order candidate — a welcome relief after years of chaos.
According to Russian-American author Masha Gessen, Putin’s ability to so easily wield power at home is derived not only from a carefully crafted image: The former spy has remained in the Kremlin despite a declining economy, diplomatic isolation and nearly continuous allegations of corruption and human rights abuses because of his ability to “have words mean nothing”.
Over the last two decades, Putin has consolidated his grip on power by transforming Russia’s courts, media and other governance institutions to serve the whims of one person: himself. He has spent lavishly on the the military, banned or jailed opposition politicians and journalists and cultivated support from right-wing, nationalist groups. He changed Russia’s constitution so he can stay in power until 2036, perhaps even longer. Putin has also presided over a growing Russian middle class, modernized some areas of Russia’s economy such as in banking and technology and weathered successive financial crises because of Russia’s enormous strategic oil and gas reserves. He has sought to crack down on dissent by banning restricting free speech on the Internet.
It is also believed that Putin is the world’s richest man with about 7000+ cars, 43 jets and a toilet made of gold. Financial analysts believe that Putin’s real income is about $200 billion which makes him richer than Elon Musk. He is so powerful that he has 6000 nuclear weapons at his disposal which can reach any part of world in just 10 minutes.
Because of his political longevity, Putin has seen five U.S. presidents come and four go. During this time there has been cooperation on trade, nuclear and ballistic missile treaties, fighting terrorism and more. There has also been sharp divergence — on human rights, on the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, on the rule of law, on Moscow’s apparent or at least tacit support for cyber-hackers, and on what countries such as Ukraine and Georgia, formed in the wake of the Soviet Union’s break-up in 1991, should be allowed to do in terms of carving out their own cultural and ideological destinies.
He is the only man in the entire world who can do anything that pleases him and if someone tries to go against him then he goes in heaven.
If you enjoyed this story, please click the 👏 button and share to help others find it fruitful! Feel free to leave a comment below. Follow me on medium by just clicking that small follow button and subscribe to my stories so that you are not able to miss any other interesting topic.