It is now official that Russia has muscled up and returned to the global arena under the watchful eye of President Vladmir Putin- an ambitious lawyer yet a former soviet spy with excellent skills in foreign policy negotiations.
Putin organized the first ever Russia-Africa Summit aimed at engaging the African leaders and writing a new chapter in cooperation with the continent away from the former Soviet union that collapsed decades ago.
Putin was born in Leningrad and studied Law at Leningrad State University, graduating in 1975. Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years Stationed mainly in East Germany. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before resigning in 1991 to enter politics in Saint Petersburg.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, on October 7, 1952.
He grew up with his family in a communal apartment, attending the local grammar and high schools, where he developed an interest in sports.
After graduating from Leningrad State University with a law degree in 1975, Putin began his career in the KGB as an intelligence officer. Stationed mainly in East Germany, he held that position until 1990, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Upon returning to Russia, Putin held an administrative position at the University of Leningrad, and after the fall of communism in 1991 became an adviser to liberal politician Anatoly Sobchak.
When Sobchak was elected mayor of Leningrad later that year, Putin became his head of external relations, and by 1994, Putin had become Sobchak’s first deputy mayor.
After Sobchak’s defeat in 1996, Putin resigned his post and moved to Moscow. There, in 1998, Putin was appointed deputy head of management under Boris Yeltsin’s presidential administration.
In that position, he was in charge of the Kremlin’s relations with the regional governments.
Shortly afterward, Putin was appointed head of the Federal Security Service, an arm of the former KGB, as well as head of Yeltsin’s Security Council.
In August 1999, Yeltsin dismissed his prime minister, Sergey Stapashin, along with his cabinet, and promoted Putin in his place.