Who Is Vladimir Putin?
In 1999, Russian president Boris Yeltsin promoted former KGB officer Vladimir Putin to Russian prime minister. Later that year, Yeltsin resigned and appointed Putin president. Putin was re-elected in 2004. Putin could not run for the presidency again in 2008. Instead, he was appointed prime minister by the new president. Putin was re-elected to the presidency in March 2012 and later won a fourth term.
President of Russia: First and Second Terms
In 2000, Putin was elected to his first term. Promising political and economic reforms, Putin restructured the government. He investigated the business dealings of high-profile Russian citizens. He also continued Russia's military campaign in Chechnya.
In September 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States, Putin announced Russia's support for the United States in its anti-terror campaign. However, when the United States' “war on terror” meant getting rid of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Putin joined Germany and France in opposing the plan.
In 2004, Putin made a historic visit to Israel. This was the first visit to Israel by any Kremlin leader.
Third Term as President
In 2012, Vladimir Putin was elected to his third term as president. After widespread protests and allegations of electoral fraud, he appointed Medvedev as prime minister. Putin has continued to make controversial changes to Russia's domestic affairs and foreign policy.
He signed into a law a ban on the U.S. adoption of Russian children. This prompted international controversy, and it left the status unclear for nearly 50 Russian children who were in the final phases of adoption with U.S. citizens.
Putin granted asylum to Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking classified information from the National Security Agency.
He made it illegal for gay couples to adopt children in Russia.
Source: Vladimir Putin
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