August of last year, several hundred of people in Moscow gathered and patiently waited for their turn to buy t-shirt with Vladimir Putin’s picture on it. The political figure is widely celebrated in Russia. The Russians could choose from t-shirts with a print of the Russian president on a horse or a picture of the president wearing sunglasses. The manufacturer of the t-shirts reported more than 7,000 sold in a day.
Who is Vladimir Putin?
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on October 7, 1952. Currently he serves as the 4th president of Russia. He assumed presidency since May 2012. His previous political stint includes President of Russia from the year 2000 to 2008, Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and was elected back to the position from the year 2008 to 2012. In the year 2012 he also served as the chairman of the ruling party of Russia, United Russia.
Before entering the political arena, Vladimir Putin served as an officer for 16 years in the KGB. When he retired from the elite organization he was the Lieutenant Colonel of the KGB. In 1991, he entered politics in his home town Saint Petersburg and consequently moved to Moscow in the year 1996. He joined the party and administration of then President Boris Yeltsin. When President Yeltsin resigned unexpectedly, he quickly rose to power and became acting president. In the year 2000 he ran for the presidential election and won. He was accused then of rigging the election ballots but despite the controversies he ran again in 2004 and won the same office.
Russia’s constitution had term limits for political officers. Thus Putin was not eligible to run for presidency the third time in 2008. His comrade Dmitry Medvedev won the presidential election on 2008 and subsequently appointed Putin as Prime Minister of the country. In the last quarter of 2011, there was a constitutional change in Russia extending the term for presidents from four years to six years. This gave Putin the opportunity to run once again for presidency in the 2012 elections. When he announced his candidacy, a lot of protesters marched down the Russian streets to oppose the leader’s decision. Putin was unstoppable and he ran for president and won.