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Vladimir Putin’s Biography
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia since 2012, was born on October 7, 1952. Putin was brought up in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), U.S.S.R. The boy was interested in political sciences and international relations. In 1975, Putin received the degree in law in Leningrad State University. During the period of 1975-1985, Putin served as a foreign intelligence officer for the KGB (Committee for State Security) (“Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin”). In 1985, Putin was appointed to work for KGB in Dresden, East Germany. In 1990, Putin returned to Russia as the lieutenant colonel and started to work with Anatoly Sobchak’s, one of the Perestroika leaders, in St. Petersburg (Sakwa 8-54).
The career of Putin begins to develop intensively in 1996 when he moved to Moscow and joins the administrations of the Kremlin’s main leaders. In 1998, Putin is appointed by President Boris Yeltsin as the director of the Federal Security Service. President Yeltsin supported the career of Putin, and Putin was appointed to become the Prime Minister in 1999, and then in December of 1999, Putin was named as the President of Russia because of Yeltsin’s resignation.
In 2000, Putin was elected as the President of Russia and served as the country’s leader till 2008 (Sakwa 8-54). During this period, Putin focused on reconstructing the weak Russia’s economy and developing international relations. In 2008, Dmitry Medvedev was elected as the President, and Putin became the Prime Minister. He also accepted the position of the Chairman of the United Russia Party. In 2012, Putin was elected as the Russian President again, when Dmitry Medvedev became the Prime Minister (Hale and Colton 24).
Vladimir Putin’s Accomplishments
The accomplishments of Putin as the main political leader in Russia since 2000 can be classified into three categories. The first category includes Putin’s achievements in relation to the Russian domestic economy. During the period of 2000-2014, Russia demonstrates the stable economic growth. Putin’s successes in economy are in strengthening the industrial sector, developing the oil and gas industry, and making Russia the energy superpower (Radyuhin 12-14). Putin focused on increasing the oil export revenues. Furthermore, Putin’s policies contributed to the growth of the Russian population’s incomes (Radyuhin 14).
The second category includes Putin’s achievements in the sphere of fighting terrorism in relation to the Chechen separatists. Although Russian and United States’ visions of the war on terror differ significantly, Putin contributed to overcoming terrorism at the global arena while developing campaigns against the Chechen separatists in 2000-2002 in order to protect the Russian civil population (Piet and Kanet 28-34).
The third category includes Putin’s accomplishments regarding the state’s international relations. Since 1991, Russia remained to be the post-U.S.S.R. country characterized by the problematic relations with the international community. The situation began to change in 2000, when Putin started to develop effective economic and political relations with the foreign countries. To demonstrate the new approach to the state’s foreign policy, Putin visited Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel, in 2005, and he was the first Kremlin leader to visit Israel (“Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin”). However, the opposition to the official United States’ political course also became the feature of Putin’s foreign policy (Piet and Kanet 28-39).
Vladimir Putin’s Importance in History
Putin plays the important role in the history of the 21st century because he reformed the path which Russia followed since 1991. In 1999, there was a dilemma on the way of development to choose because the course of modernization followed after the Soviet Union’s collapse by President Yeltsin weakened the state. Putin resolved the dilemma while focusing on the economic progress of Russia (Hale and Colton 14). It was important to adapt the country to the effective shift to the new market economy based on the capitalist principles. The period of 1991-1999 did not demonstrate significant results in this sphere. The first step was the focus on strengthening the economy while using such resources as the oil and gas industry.
Putin demonstrated the possibility to effectively combine the focus on democracy and liberalization with the focus on the strong rule typical for Communist states. Thus, Putin proposed the unique course of reformation for Russia while combining the features of both Communism and Capitalism to adapt them within the Russian environments (Sakwa 59).
In addition, Putin is important in the context of the global history because he succeeded in ruling Russia to the position of one of the most powerful countries in the world. Today, Russia can be discussed as the global power which influences many aspects of the global politics and international relations. Thus, Putin is often considered as one of the most successful Russian leaders who contributed to the country’s economic progress and to the increase of its international status after the years of decline. While having the strong political position in the Eastern part of Europe, Russia under Putin’s rule follows the policy of spreading its influence in the region (Freire and Kanet 112).
Evaluation of Vladimir Putin’s Policy
It is rather difficult to evaluate the aspects of Putin’s domestic and foreign policies because of the controversial character of the leader’s achievements and failures. On the one hand, Putin’s policy is directed toward stating the superpower position of Russia at the global arena while focusing on the economic growth and active conformation with the United States regarding many questions (Freire and Kanet 84). On the other hand, Putin’s accomplishments in the sphere of the Russian economy are closely associated with the development of bureaucracy and corruption in the state which are in focus of Putin’s activities during a decade.
Putin guarantees the political stability and active economic progress for the Russian citizens. However, the opposite side of the political stability is the pressure on the protest movements and organizations which do not support Putin’s course. The intention of Russia to become the superpower results in deepening the confrontation between the United States and the Kremlin (Piet and Kanet 114). Furthermore, in March of 2014, the process of strengthening the positions in the Eastern part of Europe resulted in Putin’s annexation of the Crimea which previously was the Ukrainian autonomous republic (“Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin”). These activities of the Kremlin are discussed as most controversial today.
Putin’s contribution to the Russians’ welfare and stability is significant, and this idea is supported with the fact that many citizens actively support the President’s activities in spite of their character. The Russians are satisfied with Putin’s course because of the observed stability and increased international status of the country in the world. However, the opposite side of this process is the violation of civil rights in Russia which is often stated by independent experts (Freire and Kanet 84). Thus, to rule such a large and diverse country as Russia, it is necessary to make the emphasis on strict governance, but this approach can result in violating the human civil rights, as it is in Russia today.
Freire, Maria Raquel, and Roger Kanet. Russia and Its Near Neighbours. UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Print.
Hale, Henry, and Timothy Colton. Russians and the Putin-Medvedev “Tandemocracy”: A Survey-Based Portrait of the 2007–08 Election Season. 2009. Web.
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Piet, Remi, and Roger Kanet. Shifting Priorities in Russia’s Foreign and Security Policy. USA: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2014. Print.
Radyuhin, Vladimir. “Significance of Vladimir Putin’s Presidency”. Mainstream XLVI.21 (2008): 12-14. Print.
Sakwa, Richard. Putin: Russia’s Choice. USA: Routledge, 2007. Print.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. 2014. Web.