Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician who is the current President of the Russian Federation, holding the office since 7 May 2012.
Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eurasia.
'Do you realise what you've done? Putin addresses UNGA ... by RT
He was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000, President from 2000 to 2008, and again Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012.
Vladimir Putin: "KGB Spymaster" by Bert J. Paulson
During his second term as Prime Minister, he was the Chairman of the United Russia Party, the ruling party.
In the context of politics in the Russian Federation, United Russia is as of 2016 the ruling political party in Russia.
Born in Saint Petersburg, Putin studied German at Saint Petersburg High School 281, and speaks fluent German.
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with five million inhabitants in 2012, and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea.
He then studied law at the Saint Petersburg State University, graduating in 1975.
Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg.
Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring in 1991 to enter politics in his native Saint Petersburg.
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel.
The KGB, an initialism for Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti, was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until its break-up in 1991.
He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin's administration, rising quickly through the ranks and becoming Acting President on 31 December 1999, when Yeltsin resigned.
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of the Russian Federation, with 12.2 million residents within the city limits and 16.8 million within the urban area.
Putin won the subsequent 2000 presidential election by a 53% to 30% margin, thus avoiding a runoff with his Communist Party opponent, Gennady Zyuganov.
Gennady Andreyevich Zyuganov is a Russian politician who has been the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation since 1993.
He was reelected President in 2004 with 72% of the vote.
During Putin's first presidency, the Russian economy grew for eight straight years, and GDP measured in purchasing power increased 72%.
The growth was a result of the 2000s commodities boom, high oil prices, and prudent economic and fiscal policies.
The 2000s commodities boom or the commodities super cycle was the rise, and fall, of many physical commodity prices which occurred during the first two decades of the 2000s, following the Great Commodities Depression of the 1980s and 1990s.
Because of constitutionally mandated term limits, Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive presidential term in 2008.
A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms an officeholder may serve in a particular elected office.
The 2008 presidential election was won by Dmitry Medvedev, who appointed Putin Prime Minister, beginning a period of so-called "tandemocracy".
In September 2011, after presidential terms were extended from four to six years, Putin announced he would seek a third term as president.
He won the March 2012 presidential election with 64% of the vote, a result which aligned with pre-election polling.
Falling oil prices coupled with Western sanctions imposed at the beginning of 2014 after Russia's annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Eastern Ukraine led to GDP shrinking by 3.7% in 2015.
Ukraine is a sovereign state in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland and Slovakia to the west, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively.
The Crimean Peninsula, also known simply as Crimea, is a major land mass on the northern coast of the Black Sea that is almost completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast.
Eastern Ukraine or East Ukraine generally refers to territories of Ukraine east of the Dnieper river, particularly Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.
Putin has enjoyed very high domestic approval ratings during his career, and has received extensive international attention as one of the world's most powerful leaders.
In 2007, he was the Time Person of the Year.
In 2015, he was #1 on the Time's Most Influential People List.
In 2013, 2014, and 2015, he was ranked first on the Forbes List of The World's Most Powerful People.