8 Mind blowing facts about the richest leader of the world – Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin is probably the most powerful national leader in the world, even more powerful than American president at one point of time. Since 1999, when he took over from Boris Yeltsin, he has constantly being present on the world stage either as the President of Russian Federation or as the Prime Minister of Russia and now he is back to being President again. Though there have been reports of rampant dictatorship like governance by him in Russia, especially the invasion of Crimea, Putin is largely seen as mysterious figure thanks to his background and his leadership.
We bring to you 8 facts about the Russia Federation premier that will blow your mind.
1 Loves Aircrafts
Vladimir Putin is a licensed pilot and once co-piloted a plane in order to put out a forest wildfire. He is said to have 15 helicopters in his personal fleet and a total of more than 58 planes that he uses from time to time. The most impressive aircraft is the IlyusinII-96 model aircraft.
2 Is a keen martial artist
Putin was born in Saint Petersburg in 1952 and as he grew up, he took interest in martial arts, especially Judo and earned his black belt in Judo by the age of 18 years old. He still practices the art regularly and also trained in the Russian martial art Sambo.
3 Known to speak his mind
Putin is known for having a very tough stand on certain matters and is not afraid to speak his mind. He has given fiery statements on matters such as Edward Snowden and Syria. Once when USA advised Putin to take the road of speech and have words with the peace during the Ukraine crisis, he responded with now classic statement of “Why don’t you meet Osama bin La*en, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage him in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?. Russia doesn’t negotiate with terrorists. It destroys them”.
4 Worked for KGB
Putin started his career as an agent for the feared Russia intelligence agency KGB and worked as a recruiter in East Germany from 1975-1991. He burned the KGB files in the headquarters in Dresden as the Berlin Wall was falling in 1989 and mob was trying to enter the premises. He left the agency in 1991 at the rank of lieutenant colonel.
5 Family Background
Putin lived and grew in a communal apartment in Saint Petersburg that was shared by 3 families and he fondly remembers hunting rats in the corridors of the building. Putin’s paternal grandfather Spiridon Ivanovich Putin worked as a cook for former Bolshevik premier Vladimir Lenin at his country house Gorki. He even cooked for Joseph Stalin when Stalin used to stay in Moscow.
6 Saved a TV crew
In 2008, Putin helped save a TV crew in the Ussuri nature reserve, which was filming the Siberian tigers present in the area. One of the tigresses from the pack allegedly attacked the crew accompanying him and Putin shot it with a tranquilizer dart. Putin later admitted that the whole incident was staged in order to bring the plight of the Siberian Tigers to the world.
7 Daughter’s lives
Not many people know that Putin has two daughters Mariya Putina and Tekaterina Putina, born in Dresden in the mid 1980s. Both have never been photographed and their existence has been a mystery to even the Russian media. Both study under assumed names and live in undisclosed places and Putin has never spoken about them in any manner – formal or informal.
8 Loves Dogs
Putin loves animals and has many pets, but his favorites are dogs. In January 2007, he even used a large black Labrador, Koni to intimidate and scare German Chancellor Angela Merkel during their official diplomatic meeting in Sochi. Merkel is petrified of dogs and Putin used this fact to scare and intimidate the German leader. Merkel famously ended the meeting by saying “Now the dog is going to eat the journalists…”
9 Personal Wealth
Reports have valued Vladimir Putin to have a personal worth of more than 46 billion pounds. Though the official number is not known, but Putin is known to have stakes in most of the big Russian companies and is known to own large amount of luxurious items like mansions. The largest of his mansions is dubbed as the Putin Palace and is built near the Black Sea village of Praskoveevka. It is estimated to cost near about 750 million pounds and is one of the 20 villas that the Russian President allegedly owns in Russia alone.