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Vladimir Putin PNG Transparent Images

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Submitted by on Dec 26, 2021

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who has been the country’s president since 2012, having previously served from 1999 to 2008. From 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012, he served as Prime Minister. Putin, after Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, is the European president with the second-longest term as of 2021.

Putin was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), where he studied law and graduated in 1975. Putin spent 16 years in the KGB as a foreign intelligence officer, attaining to the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring in 1991 to pursue a political career in Saint Petersburg. In 1996, he relocated to Moscow to work for President Boris Yeltsin’s government. Before being named Prime Minister in August 1999, he held positions as Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and Secretary of the Security Council.

Following Yeltsin’s resignation, Putin took over as acting president and was elected outright to his first term as president less than four months later. He was re-elected in 2004. Putin opted to become Prime Minister again from 2008 to 2012, despite the fact that he was constitutionally restricted to two consecutive terms as President. He was reelected as President in 2012 and again in 2018. He signed constitutional modifications into law in April 2021, following a vote, including one allowing him to seek for reelection twice more, perhaps prolonging his reign until 2036.

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The Russian economy grew for eight years in a row during his first term as president, with GDP measured by purchasing power increasing by 72 percent, real incomes increasing by a factor of 2.5, real wages more than tripling, unemployment and poverty more than halving, and Russians’ self-assessed life satisfaction increasing significantly. A fivefold increase in the price of oil and gas, which account for the bulk of Russian exports, as well as recovery from the post-Communist slump and financial crises, increased foreign investment, and conservative economic and fiscal policies, all contributed to the country’s prosperity.

He supervised large-scale military and police reforms while working under Dmitry Medvedev from 2008 to 2012. Putin ran for re-election in 2012 and received about 64% of the vote. Falling oil prices, combined with international sanctions imposed at the start of 2014 in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, caused the Russian economy to contract by 3.7 percent in 2015. However, the Russian economy recovered in 2016, with 0.3 percent GDP growth, and the recession was officially over.

Pipelines have been built, the satellite navigation system GLONASS has been restored, and infrastructure for major events such as the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi has been built under Putin’s watch. In the 2018 election, Putin earned 76 percent of the vote and was re-elected for a six-year term that would finish in 2024.

Russia has witnessed a democratic backslide under Putin’s leadership. Experts usually do not consider Russia to be a democracy, citing political prisoners, purges, persecution and ban of the free press, as well as a lack of free and fair elections.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Ranking, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, and Freedom House’s Freedom in the World index have all given Russia low marks. Putin is accused by human rights groups and activists of prosecuting political critics and campaigners, as well as ordering their torture or assassination.

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