Ayodele Oyebanji Written by Ayodele Oyebanji · 1 min read >

If we have to understand the war in Ukraine, we must first understand Vladimir Putin the man who is pulling the strings of war. What is in his mind? What has shaped his life?

So for a start, you should know that Vladimir Putin was once a KGB agent. KGB was the soviet spy agency until 1991, which is known as FSB in Russia now. 

In 1975 his trainers found a flaw in the young Putin, they said Putin had a diminished sense of danger; in other words what may seem dangerous to you and I, May not seem dangerous to Vladimir Putin. He acknowledges this in his biography, back in his KGB days a negative trait often ascribed to him was his lowered sense of danger.

The current invasion in Ukraine, shows that the spy agency were right about Putin’s being a dangerous. Which leader today would dare to send tanks into another country? Which leader would be unafraid of repercussions?

Putin has been exhibiting this diminished sense of danger since his childhood. He was born in October 1952 in the soviet city of Leningrad, his parents belonged to the working class, and they lived in a soviet-style apartment and shared the space with two other families. While most children picked up humble sports, Putin decided to pursue a martial art called Judo. While most school boys dreamt of becoming a doctor or a pilot or something glamorous, Putin dreamt of becoming a spy. He first set foot into the KGB headquarters when he was still in his teens, he graduated from the Leningrad state university in 1975 and went straight to join the KGB.


In May 1990, Putin was appointed as an advisor on international affairs to the Mayor of Leningrad Anatoly Sobchak. On 28 June 1991, he became head of the Committee for External Relations of the Mayor’s Office, with responsibility for promoting international relations and foreign investments and registering business ventures. In March 1994, Putin was appointed as First Deputy Chairman of the Government of Saint Petersburg. In June 1996, Sobchak lost his bid for re-election in Saint Petersburg, and Putin, who had led his election campaign, resigned from his positions in the city administration. He moved to Moscow and was appointed as Deputy Chief of the Presidential Property Management Department headed by Pavel Borodin. He occupied this position until March 1997. He was responsible for the foreign property of the state and organized the transfer of the former assets of the Soviet Union and Communist Party to the Russian Federation.

On 9 August 1999, Putin was appointed one of three First Deputy Prime Ministers, and later on that day, was appointed acting Prime Minister of the Government of the Russian Federation by President Yeltsin. Yeltsin also announced that he wanted to see Putin as his successor. Later on that same day, Putin agreed to run for the presidency. In May 2012, Vladimir Putin became the fourth president; he was re-elected in March 2018 and inaugurated in May 2018 to a six-year term.

The 2020 vote made Vladimir Putin Russia’s president for life and in the last 14 years he has gone to war thrice and he will remain in power until 2036 which is 14 more years and 13 more soviet republics to go.

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