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Vladimir Putin: Quick Facts

Larry Slawson received his master's degree at UNC Charlotte. He specializes in Russian and Ukrainian history.

Photo of Vladimir Putin.

Photo of Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin: Biographical Facts

  • Name: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
  • Birth Date: 7 October 1952
  • Birth Place: Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia
  • Father: Vladimir Putin
  • Mother: Maria Putin
  • Spouse: Lyudmila Shkrebneva Putin (1983-2014); Married 31 Years, Divorced in April 2014
  • Children: Yekaterina and Maria Putin
  • Education: Law Degree at Leningrad State University (1975)
  • Religious Affiliation: Orthodox Christian
  • Politics: United Russia Party
  • Occupations: Russian Intelligence Officer; Prime Minister; President of Russia
Putin is highly skilled in martial arts and began learning judo at 11.

Putin is highly skilled in martial arts and began learning judo at 11.

Facts About Vladimir Putin's Life

  • Vladimir Putin came from humble beginnings, growing up in a communal apartment block in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). During his early years, Putin shared a fifth-floor apartment with his two parents, a pair of siblings, and three other families. Conditions were quite bad in the apartment. According to the Huffington Post, Putin recalled “hunting rats in the stairwell” on numerous occasions (
  • Putin is highly skilled in martial arts and began learning judo at 11. By the early 2000s, Putin had earned his fifth dan black belt. He also holds a ninth dan in taekwondo and an eighth dan black belt in karate (earned in 2013 and 2014, respectively). Putin also participates in many athletic activities, including fishing, horseback riding, rafting, hockey, scuba diving, swimming, and skiing ( In recent years, Putin’s interests have expanded to automobile racing, particularly Formula One (F1) racing.
  • Putin is a well-known lover of animals. He currently has a Bulgarian Shepherd named Buffy and an Akita Inu (Yume). He also has a goat named Skazka, a dwarf horse named Vadik, and a Siberian tiger.
  • Putin was a former KGB agent and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the security agency by 1990 (after nearly fifteen years of service). During his stint with the KGB, Putin resided in East Germany, where he “monitored foreigners and consular officials” ( During the 1980s, Putin spent much of his time recruiting “people to spy on the West” ( As a result of his time in Germany, Putin is fluent in German. According to MSN, Putin even served as an interpreter for the German Chancellor (Angela Merkel) during a 2013 visit. Before entering the ranks of the KGB, Putin studied law at Leningrad State University. One of his tutors, Anatoly Sobchak, later became “one of the leading reform politicians of the perestroika period” (
  • Putin’s grandfather (Spiridon Ivanovich Putin) was a chef for both Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin during the early years of the Soviet Union.
  • Putin is gifted in the musical arts and has sung at multiple charity events across Russia. He also plays the piano and is an avid reader of spy novels. It is also rumored that Putin is a long-time fan of The Beatles; His favorite song, according to sources, is “Yesterday.”
  • In 1994, Putin served as the first deputy mayor of St. Petersburg under Anatoly Sobchak. In 1998, after numerous administrative positions under the Presidential staff, Boris Yeltsin appointed Putin as director of the FSB (Federal Security Service). Soon after, Putin became secretary of the “Influential Security Council” and was appointed by Yeltsin to the position of Prime Minister in 1999. Unlike his predecessors, Putin’s public approval reached unprecedented levels across Russia due to his resolute and decisive manner (
  • Although his personal fortune is unknown, it is believed that Putin may be the richest man in the world, with an estimated worth of $200 Billion. Putin owns a billion-dollar estate along the Black Sea made entirely of marble. The complex contains three helicopter pads. It is also believed that Putin owns four separate yachts, twenty different palaces, over 58 aircraft, and a large collection of wrist watches (valued at over half a million dollars).

"People are always teaching us democracy but the people who teach us democracy don't want to learn it themselves."

— Vladimir Putin

Famous Quotes

  • "Sometimes it is necessary to be lonely in order to prove that you are right."
  • "Everything will probably never be okay. But we have to try for it."
  • "The ability to compromise is not a diplomatic politeness toward a partner but rather taking into account and respecting your partner's legitimate interests."
  • "It's better to be hanged for loyalty than be reward for betrayal."
  • "You can do a lot more with weapons and politeness than just politeness."
  • "Even if we do not always agree on every aspect, nobody should take this as an excuse to declare us as enemies."


Much of Vladimir Putin's life remains shrouded in mystery as Russia maintains a tight lid on many of his personal affairs. As a result, the facts that emerge about Putin often remain scattered and fragmented due to the scarcity of source materials available to scholars, journalists, and political scientists.

What is known, however, is that Putin continues to remain a key political figure on the world scene; serving as a leading voice in the international community and global affairs. Recent investigations pertaining to the Putin administration also reveal numerous controversies involving the Russian President. Only time will tell what new facts can be gleaned about the Russian President.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Gessen, Masha. The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. New York: Penguin Books, 2012.

Myers, Steven Lee. The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin. New York: Vintage Books, 2016.

Works Cited


"10 Surprising Facts About Putin's Extraordinary Past." The Huffington Post. December 07, 2017. Accessed August 06, 2018.

"21 Things You Should Know about Vladimir Putin." Philippines to Shut Polluted Isle Duterte Called a Cesspool. Accessed August 06, 2018.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Vladimir Putin." Encyclopædia Britannica. July 18, 2018. Accessed August 06, 2018. Staff. "Vladimir Putin." 2009. Accessed August 06, 2018.

"Vladimir Putin Fast Facts." CNN. June 01, 2018. Accessed August 06, 2018.

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Read More From Owlcation


Press, Associated. "Vladimir Putin Says the Leader in Artificial Intelligence 'will Be the Ruler of the World'." Fox News. September 01, 2017. Accessed August 06, 2018.

"Vladimir Putin." Wikipedia. August 03, 2018. Accessed August 06, 2018.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Larry Slawson


Larry Slawson (author) from North Carolina on August 07, 2018:

Thank you MsDora. I'm glad you enjoyed :)

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 07, 2018:

Enough for us to know that he is human, after all. Thank you for the details.

Larry Slawson (author) from North Carolina on August 07, 2018:

@bradmasterOCcal I completely agree.

@Liz Yes, there is a lot more to Putin than the media often portrays. Not to say that he is a good person, by any means. But there is definitely a lot more to him than meets the eye.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 07, 2018:

This is a very interesting article, adding depth to the character portrayed in the media.

Brad on August 07, 2018:

Putin had some good quotes and ideas.

Good and bad are value judgements.

Quote #6: "Even if we do not always agree on every aspect, nobody should take this as an excuse to declare us as enemies."

This is something we need to consider as a country. Remember in the past, and maybe still today, we are referred to around the world as the Ugly Americans!

Larry Slawson (author) from North Carolina on August 06, 2018:

@Ann Carr I'm glad you enjoyed. Yes, Putin is a really interesting political figure. But should definitely not be trusted. There are just way too many controversial issues that seem to surround this man.

Ann Carr from SW England on August 06, 2018:

Interesting background and facts about this man. I wouldn't trust a KGB man, present or past! It will be interesting to see how the Putin/Trump relationship progresses.

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