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The Big Story

VLADIMIR PUTIN The World’s most Dangerous Man By Maarten Hoffmann


ladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a strange old cove. Part saviour of the Russian Empire, part bare-chested butch gay icon, and part the most frightening man on the planet. It is also estimated that he is the wealthiest person on the planet. But what are his global intentions? Vladimir Putin was born on October 7th, 1952 in Saint Petersburg. His mother was a factory worker and his father an officer in the Russian navy, serving in the submarine fleet, and later, at the outbreak of WW2, went on to serve in the Destruction Battalion of the NKVD. He retired in 1942 after being severely wounded. Putin had two brothers, Viktor and Albert. Albert died in infancy and Viktor died of diphtheria during the Siege of Leningrad. Putin studied law at the Saint Petersburg State University in 1970 and graduated in 1975. His thesis was on ‘The Most Favoured Nation Trading Principle in International Law’. While there, Putin was required to join the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and remained a member until December 1991. Putin met Anatoly Sobchak, an Assistant Professor who taught


business law and was highly influential in Putin’s career. On his childhood, he says: “I come from an ordinary family, and this is how I lived for a long time, nearly my whole life. I lived as an average, normal person and I have always maintained that connection. We lived

simply - cabbage soup, cutlets, pancakes, but on Sundays and holidays my Mother would bake very delicious stuffed buns (pirozhki) with cabbage, meat and rice, and curd tarts (vatrushki)” Mr Putin says.

This is a situation as dangerous as any we have seen in human history.

“My father was born in St Petersburg in 1911. When World War I began, life in St Petersburg became hard, people were starving, so the entire family moved to Pominovo, a village in the Tver region my grandmother came from. Incidentally, my relatives still vacation in the house where my grandparents lived. It was in Pominovo that my father met my mother, and they got married at the age of 17.” After graduating from Leningrad State University, Putin was


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