|2th and 4th President of Russia|
From: December 31, 1999–May 7, 2008 (first)
May 7, 2012– (second)
|Vice President||Dmitry Medvedev|
|Predecessor||Boris Yeltsin (First term), Dmitry Medvedev (Second term)|
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
|Religion||claimed Russian Orthodox, previously Atheist|
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (Russian: Владимир Владимирович Путин) (born October 7, 1952) was reelected president of the Russian Federation in 2012, after serving as prime minister since May 8, 2008, and previously serving as president since December 31, 1999, the day Boris Yeltsin resigned from the presidency.
Forbes ranked Putin as the most powerful man in the world as of December 2016, while Obama was ranked #48. Putin gains popularity every time he challenges the U.S. or Europe, or sends troops into Georgia. Putin's Russia is an authoritarian system, with restricted capitalism, a rubber stamp parliament, pliant media, imprisoned or exiled oligarchs, harassed NGOs, marginalized pro-Western, democratic parties, and a foreign policy based on bullying and military strength, all based on money from oil and gas.
- 1 Background
- 1.1 Domestic policy
- 1.2 Political career
- 1.3 Foreign Policy
- 1.4 Views on communism and the Soviet Union
- 2 See also
- 3 Further reading
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Putin was born in Leningrad on October 7, 1952 and was baptized as an Orthodox Christian and continue to be a member to this day. Putin was a judo champion in his youth. He was educated in law and economics at Leningrad State University before being assigned to work in the KGB. After five years in East Germany, he took up various political positions before becoming prime minister in 1999.
He was married to Lyudmila Putina, a former stewardess with Aeroflot, from July 28, 1983, until 2014, when the two divorced. They have two daughters.
A Christian himself, Putin governs a nation that is rapidly becoming more Christian and more conservative, and his snubbing of liberal Obama in May 2012 suggests that Putin is well aware of how conservative his country is becoming. On social issues and taxation, Russia under Putin is more conservative today than the Western Europe.
In terms of achievements, Putin has successfully opposed the homosexual agenda and has supported pro-life reforms. He has also stabilized the Russian economy and restored Russia's national pride, largely by politically exploiting the financial windfall of Europe's need for Russian oil and gas. Russians were enthusiastic that he ended the social chaos that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the subsequent pell-mell privatization of the state-owned economy. Many Russians have been mesmerized by the new glitter of Moscow and the restored glamour of St. Petersburg. Russia's revived self-pride follows the humiliation of the chaos after 1991 and the incompetence of his predecessor Boris Yeltsin. Russians have a long history of authoritarian governments and a strong diastase for anarchy. They have little experience with freedom. The Russian mafia, which is more sophisticated than its counterparts elsewhere, controls more than 40 percent of the total economy. Their control is thought to be even greater in certain areas, such as banking, real estate, and consumer markets. In November 2014, Putin started allowing his citizens to own concealed firearms for self-defense. Russia under Putin made it illegal to preach religions not recognized by the constitution, including atheism, but it also suppressed non-Eastern Orthodox Christians.
Putin is mainly backed by the United Russia (Единая Россия) party, which currently holds a majority in the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, known as the Duma. The party usually reflects the political views of Putin, which are that of moderate conservatism and nationalism. On March 14, 2004, he was elected to a second term as president with 71% of the vote. Barred from a third consecutive term by the Russian constitution, Putin ceded the presidency to Dmitry Medvedev on May 7, 2008, and became Prime Minister, at the time sharing power with the more moderate Medvedev. Medvedev did not run for a second term, and, as a result, Putin was re-elected in 2012.
Putin is an active interventionist, which brought Russia back on the world stage since the fall of the Soviet Union, this is one of the most important reasons why Cold War features takes back, especially with the United States which is the only world superpower after the end of the Cold War.
Escalating tensions in the Obama era
Putin is seen as an antagonist by liberals in the West, who are angry about their inability to push the homosexual agenda and pro-abortion policies on Russia. Putin views NATO enlargement by absorbing former Soviet client states as a potential threat to the Russian Federation. Putin has proposed a policy of "Findlandization", i.e., making permanently neutral the Ukraine and Georgia and not incorporating them into NATO under the US's Partners for Peace program. Putin's alleged rigged election system, nuclear energy contracts and military alliance with Iran have heightened tensions. According to mainstream media, the decline of human rights in Russia has been dramatic; for example, Russian riot police beat a number of protesters and journalists at an anti-Putin rally at Pushkin Square in Moscow, and Putin rigged national elections for his party 
Putin has even exercised power over the Russian supreme court. Justice Vladimir Yaroslavtsev was forced to resign after warning that Russian security agencies now control the country as they did in Soviet times and expressing alarm over their lack of accountability. Justice Anatoly Kononov was likewise forced out after defending Yaroslavtsev.
Many who have reported or protested such things have found themselves being repressed - or killed. Journalist Anna Politkovskaya, an outspoken critic of Putin, was assassinated in 2006, and it is widely believed that the Russian government had some involvement in this death. There were 13 journalists killed in contract-style slayings during Vladimir Putin's eight-year presidency.
Despite these negatives – or perhaps because of the strong hand they reveal – Putin remains popular in Russia. Since coming to power, Putin has expanded Russia's economy and reduced inflation. The majority of Russians are relatively uninterested in politics outside of issues affecting their personal prosperity, and journalist Anna Politkovskaya argued that the Russian people, as a whole, have been willing to tolerate violence in the name of "comfort and peace and quiet".
Relations with U.S.
Relations under George W. Bush
Initially relations between George W. Bush and Putin were good, with Putin lending passive support to Bush's war on global terror. Putin was restrained from giving much assistance outside the Russian Federation, being pre-occupied with the Islamist movements waging jihad inside his own borders.
In Bush's late second term, Putin was concerned about jihadist infiltration from Turkey and Syria through the Republic of Georgia, and intervened. Former members of the Warsaw Pact, who were more supportive of the war on terror than even the US population, then asked for deployment of missile defense systems on their territories, which the Bush administration was inclined to favor as a reward for their help. Russia considered missile defense deployment on their borders overt acts of hostility. Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, in competition to outdo each other, condemned George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice by sidling up to the Russians and Islamists whom the Democrats portrayed as oppressed victims of a global neocon conspiracy.
Relations under Barack Obama
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton initially cozied up to Putin, charging the Bush administration was intent on reigniting the Cold War. However once the Rosatom-Uranium One deal was completed and the Clinton Foundation pocketed millions of dollars from Putin cronies in donations and speaking fees, relations began to sour as the Obama administration could no longer ignore geopolitical realities. Putin had protested the Obama administrations illegal drone strikes, and the administration placed sanctions on Russian leaders ostensibly in retaliation for the Crimean referendum.
President Obama's decision to move an anti-missile defense system to Romania during the 2016 US Presidential election only heightened tensions. Putin, who had repeatedly assailed the antimissile system as a grave danger to Russia's security, called Obama's decision dangerous. This coupled with Obama's implementation of sanctions rather than honor the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances negotiated by the Clinton administration, displaying it as an empty promise to guarantee Ukrainian independence, only further exposed the befuddlement and inability of the Obama administration to stand by US commitments and the weaknesses of NATO.
In September 2013, Putin gave a speech stating the need to strengthen Russian culture with traditional values and the Orthodox Christian church. Also, he condemned Western nations and their godless pursuit of political correctness and homosexuality.
In early September 2013, Putin expressly observed that liberal John Kerry is a liar.
Relations under Donald Trump
President Donald Trump accused Putin of taking Crimea by force and asked whether Obama was too soft on Russia. In March 2017 the US department of state strongly condemned the arrests of hundreds of protesters against Vladimir Putin's government. The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that US sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Moscow "reverses the actions" it has taken in Ukraine. In response to the April, 4 chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun in Syria, President Trump launched 59-Tomahawk rockets on a Syrian Air base nearby, tensions led up with Russia, Syria's ally, Putin has called that the US attack was an "illegal act of aggression", and answered this attack by sending a frigate to the military base in Syria. In April 2017 Putin explained that the US-Russia relations have gotten worse under Trump, contrary to narratives put out by the liberal mainstream media that Trump is too "soft" to Putin and is Putin's 'puppet' .
Relations with the EU
The relations within the EU are different and divided, it is mainly the following countries advocating namely an aggressive attitude towards the Russian government: the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, while the following countries belong to the pro Kremlin camp or want to maintain a better relationship: Hungary, Italy and Czech Republic.
Views on communism and the Soviet Union
As someone who rules in the style of the czars, Putin has before called the Bolsheviks traitors for Russia’s defeat in the First World War. However, he has also expressed that "[he] liked Communist and socialist ideas very much and [he] like[s] them still." and compared the Soviet code of conduct to the Bible. Putin also has compared communism with Christianity. Putin was also accused of embracing the tactics of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. In addition, he implies in an interview with Larry King dated September 8, 2000 that his Christianity isn't actually sincere by stating in Russian that he "believes in the power of man" or "I believe in human beings." Furthermore, around October 2017, he hosted the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students Communist event and gave a speech that strongly implied that he adhered to Communism. Similarly, he also had provided arms and materiel to various communist groups, including Angola, and has voiced a desire to reconnect with Latin America shortly before the FSLN regained power in Nicaragua and has supported Nicaragua via foreign aid, shipping tanks, and even posting a GLONASS tracking station on the Caribbean coast, alongside similar arming of North Korea.
- Baker, Peter, and Susan Glasser. Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the End of Revolution (2nd ed. 2007); excerpt and text search
- Goldman, Marshall I. Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia (2008) excerpt and text search
- Lucas, Edward. The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West (2009) excerpt and text search
- Stuermer, Michael. Putin and the Rise of Russia (2009)
- Wegren, Stephen K., and Dale R. Herspring, eds. After Putin's Russia: Past Imperfect, Future Uncertain (4th ed. 2009) excerpt and text search
- Putin was later elected president by 54% of the electorate on March 26, 2000.
- Webpage of Vladimir Putin
- Louise I. Shelley, The Price Tag of Russia's Organized Crime
- The Economist, April 21, 2007
- Are You An Independent Russian Judge? You're Fired, RobertAmsterdam.com
- Kim Zigfeld, Putin's Own Worst Enemy American Thinker, December 08, 2009
- Russian Lawyer in Slain Journalist Case Says She, Family Poisoned AP, October 15, 2008
- http://www.levada.ru/prezident.html Putin's Approval Ratings
- The Economist, April 21, 2007
- Politkovskaya, Anna. Putin's Russia. London: Harvill Press, 2004
- Putin urges Russians to return to values of religion, FT.com, September 19, 2013
- Donald Trump accuses Russia of taking Crimea by force in attempt to distance himself from campaign allegations
- Washington condemns arrests of hundreds of protesters against Vladimir Putin's government
- Tillerson: US to maintain Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia until Crimea is returned
- Newman, Alex (January 16, 2018). Communism “Very Similar” to Christianity, Putin Claims. The New American. Retrieved January 17, 2018.