Here are ten facts about Vladimir Putin you may or may not have known. I found some of these facts to be strange, especially when they contradict his policies as President of the Russian Federation.
10.He grew up in a communal apartment:
Vladimir Putin grew up in a communal apartment, which he shared with 3 other families in St. Petersburg (then known as Leningrad). He often speaks about how he had to hunt down rats in the stairwell of the building. He came from a poor family; his mother was a factory worker and his father was drafted into the navy, where he served on a submarine fleet.
9. He has a black belt in Martial Arts
When he was 18, Putin earned a black belt in judo. He still practices the martial art, which he describes as a life lesson for him. In November of 2013, he earned a 9th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo by Choue Chung-won, the president of the World Taekwondo Federation. If you’re wondering how good he is, watch the video above.
Despite having a strong presence in the international community, the Russian leader does not stand physically tall. In fact, he is only 5′ 5″. He is not the first controversial leader to be short. Napoleon, the revolutionary leader of 18th and 19th century, was not that short either. However, their heights do not prevent them from being successful.
7. He enjoys listening to Elton John:
Putin believes that Elton John is a talented musician. In the words of Putin, “Elton John, he’s an extraordinary person, a distinguished musician. And millions of our people sincerely love him, regardless of his sexual orientation.”Is he aware that Elton John is gay and married with children? His country is not very supportive of gay marriages, in fact Putin was immersed in controversy over his ban on same sex marriages.
He was once quoted as saying:
“I assure you that I work with these people, I sometimes award them with state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields. We have absolutely normal relations, and I don’t see anything out of the ordinary here. They say that Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a homosexual. Truth be told, we don’t love him because of that, but he was a great musician, and we all love his music. So what?”
6. He worked as a spy in the 1980s:
From 1985-1990, he worked for the KGB, a Soviet intelligence agency. Stationed in East Germany, Putin’s job was to recruit other agents. In the late 1990′s after he began to work in the Kremlin under then President Boris Yeltsin, Putin was hired as the Director of the Federal Security Service, which succeeded the KGB when the Soviet Union dissolved. When he was appointed in this role, the Moscow Times described Putin as a “little-known by loyal functionary from the Kremlin administration.”
5. He is religious:
Putin was the son of an atheist father and a Russian orthodox mother. He does believe in God but does not discuss religion in public, citing the position he holds as reason. His approach to religious policy has been characterized as one of support for religious freedoms, but also the attempt to unify different religions under the state.
4. He has a Tough Guy Attitude:
Putin was known for his tough stands on Syrian matter or on whistle blower Edward Snowden matter. Putin’s response to Hillary Clinton’s claim that Putin has no soul was – “At the very least, a state leader should have a head’.
3. He is not comfortable speaking English:
Fluent in German, but refrains from speaking English, which he is not as comfortable with. I wonder what happens when Barack Obama calls him to discuss his horrific foreign policies.
2. He loves to sing:
Singing on stage for the first time may be a hard task to complete, doubly so if the audience is full of Hollywood stars, but that did not stop Vladimir Putin from doing it. He sang “Blueberry Hill” with a jazz orchestra at a charity function in 2010. He also played a Russian song “Where the Motherland Begins” on the piano. He received a standing ovation from the crowd.
1. He resembles a character from Harry Potter:
Many people believe that Vladimir Putin closely resembles a character from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Dolby the house elf. Could J.K. Rowlings have purposely put Dolby into her books to mock Putin? Anything is possible, since he is one of the most hated people of the 21st century.