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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

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

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

And study law is just what he did.
In 1970, Putin enrolled at Leningrad State

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

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

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

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

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

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!


Vladimir Putin's Rise to Power | NowThis World

394 タグ追加 保存
Amanda Chang 2018 年 4 月 2 日 に公開
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