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PUTIN CAREER


Mr Putin is handed over the presidential power.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin studied law at State University in St Petersburg, then known as Leningrad. After graduating in 1975, he worked in the KGB's foreign intelligence service, mainly in Germany. He left the KGB in 1990 and became an ally of liberal Anatoly Sobchak, the mayor of St Petersburg, whom he met during his study. He first became Mr Sobchak's head of external relations and then served as deputy mayor from March 1994. When Mr Sobchak lost power in 1996 it was another liberal, deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais, who recommended him for a job in the presidential administration. There he rose to be deputy chief-of-staff before being asked, in July 1998, to take charge of one of Russia's new security services, the Federal Security Bureau (FSB), replacing Nikolai Kovalyov. Subsequently, President Boris Yeltsin appointed him as head of the powerful Security Council. After Boris Yeltsin sacked Sergei Stepashin in August 1999, he became Russia's prime minister. On the last day of the 20th century, Boris Yeltsin resigned and appointed him as acting president. Presidential elections were held on March 26, 2000. Putin received 52.94 percent of all votes. The inauguration took place on May 7, 2000.

Until the presidential elections, Vladimir Putin had no experience of elected office. Putin was not renowned as a charismatic speaker - his nickname used to be the "grey cardinal". During recent summits though, he proved to be an excellent speaker indeed. He is said to be most popular among young people, Muscovites and educated people. His reputation is of a good chairman and organiser. Putin is a candidate of economic sciences (1996).

Boris Yeltsin introduced him to the Russian people by saying that "he will be able to unite around himself those who will revive Great Russia in the new, 21st century". Sergei Stepashin later described him as a "decent and honest man". Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, said that "he's a decent, tough and energetic man who was out of public politics due to the specifics of his job". During a summit in June 2000, U.S. President Bill Clinton praised him for "surely being capable of creating a strong and prosperous Russia". After Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met with Mr Putin in August 2000, he told that "he's certainly no threat to the Russian democracy".

Mr Putin behind his desk.


PHOTO GALLERIES (RUSSIAN)

KGB years

Presidential campaign

[Russian politics:]

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

PHOTO GALLERIES (INTERNATIONAL)

U.N. millemium summit

[International politics:]

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

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