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September 9, 2015

These Surprising Photos of Young Vladimir Putin Give You a Rarely Seen Look at Russia’s Leader

Details of Putin’s early life can be hard to find, in part because of his obscure background and his later work with the KGB, and much of what is known of his earlier days comes from him and his friends at the time.

Putin was born in Leningrad, Russian SFSR. He studied law at Leningrad State University, graduating in 1975. Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before resigning in 1991 to enter politics in Saint Petersburg. He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin’s administration where he served as director of the FSB, the KGB’s successor agency, and then as prime minister. He became Acting President on 31 December 1999, when Yeltsin resigned.

During his first presidency, the Russian economy grew for eight straight years, and GDP measured in purchasing power increased by 72%. The growth was a result of the 2000s commodities boom, recovery from the post-Communist depression and financial crises, and prudent economic and fiscal policies.

The photos below of Putin as a fresh-faced youth stand in stark juxtaposition to his current image. Of course, even the most notorious of public figures have to go through their formative years, but it's still a bit bizarre to see what Russia's leader looked like as a young troublemaker.

A class photo of Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, then called Leningrad, circa 1960. (Laski Diffusion/Getty Images)

A class photo with Vladimir Putin, (first row, third from right), circa 1964-65. (Laski Diffusion/Getty Images)

Vladimir Putin in 1970. (Laski Diffusion/Getty Images)

Vladimir Putin dances with his classmate, Elena, during a party in St. Petersburg, then called Leningrad, in 1970. (Laski Diffusion/Getty Images)

A young Vladimir Putin during judo training with fellow pupil Vassily Shestakov in St. Petersburg, then known as Leningrad, in 1971. (EPA/Corbis)

A young Vladimir Putin in the 1970s.

Vladimir Putin with his then-wife Lyudmila and daughter, Masha, in 1985. (Sovfoto/UIG/Getty Images)

Vladimir Putin with his parents, Maria and Vladimir, just before his departure to Germany, in 1985. (Laski Diffusion/Getty Images)

(via The Huffington Post)



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