Saturday, December 27, 2014

Vladimir Putin - An Expose

Vladimir Putin was born in Leningrad on Oct. 7, 1952
 
Wikimedia Putin, age 4. 
 
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is the only child of a decorated war veteran and factory worker in the slums of Leningrad. He grew up in a Soviet Union styled communal apartment with two other families — as was typical at the time.

As a teen Putin worked at his school's radio station, where he reportedly played music by the Beatles and other Western rock bands.

 
The photographer Platon — who took Putin's infamous Time Magazine cover in 2007 — said that Paul is Putin's favorite Beatle, and "Yesterday" is his favorite song.

However, "by [Putin's] own account, his favorite songs are Soviet standards, not Western rock. He has been deeply conservative his whole life," Karen Dawisha wrote in her new book, "Putin's Kleptocracy." 


Early on in life, Putin got into judo. He was his university's judo champion in 1974.

 
Former deputy finance minister and first deputy chairman of the Central Bank Sergey Alaksashenko believes that Putin's love of judo says something about his foreign policy.

"Unlike chess, a judo fighter should not wait for the opponent's move. His strategy is to wait until he gets a chance to execute a single quick move — and then take a step back. Successful judo fighters must anticipate their opponents' actions, make a decisive, preemptive move and try to disable them," he wrote in the Moscow Times.

He also really loved spy novels and TV shows — especially one about a Soviet double agent.

Wikimedia Fictional character Stierlitz, the double-spy, portrayed by Vyacheslav Tikhonov.
Putin reportedly loved the popular 1960s book series turned TV series "17 Moments of Spring" starring the Soviet double-agent Max Otto von Stierlitz (né Vsevolod Vladimirovich Vladimirov) who rose up the ranks into Nazi elite during World War II.

Putin said about the series: "What amazed me most of all was how one man's effort could achieve what whole armies could not."

And in a moment of life imitating art, in 1985 the KGB sent Putin to Dresden, East Germany where he lived undercover as a "Mr. Adamov."

Wikimedia A former KGB prison in Potsdam (from back when East Germany existed.)
Reportedly, Putin mastered the German language so well that he could imitate regional dialects. Unlike most KGB agents, Putin liked hanging out with Germans. He was particularly fond of the "German discipline."

But how exactly Putin spent his time in East Germany is relatively unknown. According to the Kremlin, he was awarded the bronze medal "For Faithful Service to the National People's Army."

In 1989 the Berlin wall fell, and within a year Putin was back in Leningrad where he took a job under the first democratic mayor of Leningrad, Anatoly Sobchak (who was Putin's former law professor.)

Wikimedia Commons The Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate. 
 
By 1991, Putin officially resigned from the KGB's active reserve. 
Sobchak took his former student with him into office, and thus Putin began a life in public government work.


There's a group of St. Petersburg democrats who believe that Putin was assigned to the mayor's office by the KGB ... but there is no definitive proof.

Wikimedia Anatoly Sobchak, standing. 
 
For the most part, people didn't really care either way because they knew that they "were under surveillance" in general at the time, according to Newsweek.
Publically, Putin has never tried to deny his involvement with the KGB.


While working under the Leningrad mayor, Putin earned the nickname "Gray Cardinal" and was "the man to see if things needed to get done."

Putin was always behind the scenes and kept a low profile. Reportedly, he was "the man to see if things needed to get done" and "Sobchak's indispensable man."

Read the full series on Putin via the following website:
 

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