Here's a closer look at Russian President Vladimir Putin's life.
Personal: Birth date: October 7, 1952
Birth place: Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia
Birth name: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
Father: Vladimir Putin, a factory foreman
Mother: Maria Putin
Marriage: Lyudmila Shkrebneva Putin (July 28, 1983 - present)
Children: Yekaterina, 1986; Maria, 1985
Education: Leningrad State University, law, 1975; Red Banner Institute of Intelligence, 1984; Mining Institute of St. Petersburg, 1997
Religion: Orthodox Christian
Other Facts: Enjoys working out and has a black belt in judo.
Grew up in a communal apartment shared by three families.
Served in the KGB as an intelligence officer before becoming involved in politics.
Timeline: 1975 - Joins the Committee for State Security (KGB). Is on the staff of the First Chief Directorate for Foreign Intelligence for the KGB, and is assigned to shadow foreign visitors to Leningrad.
1984 - Is selected to attend the Red Banner Institute of Intelligence, where he learns German and English.
1985 - Is assigned to counterintelligence duties in Dresden, [East] Germany. Reportedly monitors loyalty of Soviet diplomats.
1990 - Becomes assistant rector (Dean) for international affairs at Leningrad State University. Reportedly monitors loyalty of students and shadows foreigners.
June, 1991 - Becomes advisor to Anatoily Sobchak when Sobchak becomes chairman of the Leningrad City Council.
1991-1994 - Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the City Council.
1992 - Leaves the KGB.
1992-1994 - Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg.
1994-1996 - First Deputy Chairman of the City Council of St. Petersburg.
1997-1998 - Head of the Presidential Administration and Control Department of the Presidency under President Boris Yeltsin.
July 1998-August 1999 - Chief of the Federal Security Service.
March 1999-August 1999 - Secretary of the Russian Security Council, headed by Boris Yeltsin.