字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント From Soviet spy to the highest elected office in Russia, Vladimir Putin has now served as President of Russia for 14 years — and by all accounts he's about to make that 20. Putin is now the second longest-serving leader in modern Russian history, coming in at #2 behind Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. He has been in power in Russia since 2000, when he was first elected President. Although he took a break from the Presidency in 2008-2012 in order to serve as Prime Minister, many saw Putin as still holding most of the power. Hey guys, I'm Versha, and today we want to take a closer look at Putin's rise to power and his ambitions for Russia. Putin was born in 1952 in Leningrad, as it was known during the Soviet Union. Today, it's called St. Petersburg. He had a rough childhood: his two brothers died very young from infections and complications, and he ended up growing up in a tiny, communal apartment shared by 6 people. Putin's mother was a factory worker and his father was a conscript in the Soviet Navy. As a young boy, Putin became enamored with the idea of being an intelligence officer. But reportedly, he was too impulsive and undisciplined - he still had a lot of growing up to do if he was going to achieve his dream. By many accounts, the maturing process began in about the sixth grade. Young Putin began to take his studies more seriously and also became interested in extracurricular activities like martial arts. But his goal was still to become a secret agent. When he was in the 9th grade, he quote “approached the local branch of the KGB, asking for an appointment to discuss his career prospects.” A senior agent told young Putin that he should join the military or study law, but quote “in any event, not to contact the agency again.” And study law is just what he did. In 1970, Putin enrolled at Leningrad State University. By this time, Putin had reinvented himself into a disciplined, hard working, and athletic young man. He also joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union while he was there. Then he got the call he had been waiting on... the KGB. The KGB contacted Putin when he was in his fourth of his five years at Leningrad State. And after a probationary period, the 22-year-old Putin finally became a KGB agent in 1975. After years of training, he was assigned to monitor foreigners and people who worked at consulates in Leningrad, before he was sent to Dresden, East Germany. Dresden was widely considered a backwater station for KGB agents, which casts doubt on Putin's own claims of being a super-spy. Masha Gessen, a Putin biographer and well-known critic, says the KGB agents' jobs during this time was “mainly collecting press clippings.” Putin says when the Berlin Wall came down, he burned KGB documents so that protesters couldn't get to them. Regardless of what Putin actually did during this time, we know being a KGB agent strongly influenced his political way of thinking - both in terms of strategy and execution. As a KGB officer working in East Germany, Putin saw firsthand the effects of the end of the Cold War and the fall of communism. He once said in an interview that "few people understand the magnitude of the catastrophe that happened late in the 1980s when the Communist Party had failed to modernize the Soviet Union." The breakup of the USSR really impacted Putin in terms of his worldview and his ambitions. His focus shifted to politics. After returning from East Germany, he would go on to work in local St. Petersburg government for the mayor's office. During this time, people said he preferred to remain in the background, still operating more on a behind the scenes basis as he did in the KGB. But he eventually moved to Moscow where he would work his way up and become a more public politician - almost accidentally. Boris Yeltsin, the first President of the new Russian Federation, took notice of him and appointed him to his presidential staff in 1997. By 1998, Putin had earned Yeltsin's trust enough for him to make him director of the FSB, which was basically the KGB's post-Soviet successor. The Federal Security Service, or the FSB, is the main intelligence agency of Russia, covering national security, counter-terrorism and surveillance. The external circumstances of global politics helped change Putin's goals - he became a politician who wanted to fix things in Russia, as he saw the struggling post-Soviet economy. He wanted Russia to remain a global power. In 1999, Yeltsin announced that he wanted Putin to be his successor. He made him Acting Prime Minister and then, Acting President, when Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned on New Year's Eve 1999. So Putin ushered in the 21st century as Russia's acting leader, which was cemented in a presidential election held a couple months later. It was during these early years of his presidency that we learned Putin was still focused on how the break-up of the Soviet Union had negatively affected Russia. It's objectively true that the disintegration of the USSR led to a rough transition period for many of the former republics, including Russia. His new goal became establishing Russia as a world power -- again. To that end, he wanted to consolidate power: Putin's Russia has since become increasingly authoritarian, including limitations on free speech and the media and the arrest and sometimes murder of political opponents and journalists. Also, Putin sees post Soviet countries like Estonia and Ukraine gravitating toward liberal democracy, as seen in the European Union, as a real threat to Russia's power and world standing. And Putin believes Russia has a rightful claim to territories in the former Soviet republics. In 2008, Russia sent troops into Georgia in an attempt to annex breakaway regions in the country, according to experts. Those regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both have a significant ethnic Russian population. But this quickly came to an end when the French brokered a ceasefire that dictated the removal of most Russian troops from Georgia. Crimea was a different story. Russia successfully annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. In fact the first round of the Russian presidential election in 2018 is on March 18 - the exact date that Russia annexed Crimea, which Putin saw as a huge victory and which boosted his approval ratings domestically - even if it caused great concern to the rest of the world. Putin's main goal now is to continue to expand Russian power globally - at home, in neighboring countries, and abroad. He certainly doesn't want to see former republics from the USSR becoming more European or Western. In fact, the word “Western” today is often considered a dirty word in Russian politics. So what can we look forward in Putin's likely fourth term? First - he's ensured he will be in power longer - Russian presidential terms have changed from 4 years to 6. So he will likely now serve as President until 2024, when he will be 71 years old. We should also be on the lookout for his goal of broadening Russian influence around the world - while news of Russian interference in the U.S. elections has dominated American media, experts say we should pay attention to what Russia is doing politically in Venezuela and Libya, as well as the Middle East and Europe. Putin still wants Russia to rival the U.S. as a superpower, and he's stepping in where the Trump administration is stepping out. This is sure to have an significant impact on the world. So, you just watch the story of how Vladimir Putin became the powerful figure that he is today. But who are some other world leaders you'd like us to profile next and why? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for watching NowThis World and PLEASE don't forget to like and subscribe for more every week!