Some people love him, some people hate him, and some don’t know what to make of him. Vladimir Putin has been the subject of many political debates concerning Russia and among the Russian journalists. He is known for carefully cultivating an image of macho daredevil and holding political opinions that are in contrast with western politics. Whatever be the case, here are some facts about Vladimir Putin that you might find interesting.
1. At age 12 he started boxing and moved on to judo, karate and sambo, a Soviet martial art.
Putin is known to promote fitness and a healthy way of life among Russians. He is also known to promote many sports including skiing, badminton, cycling and fishing. Putin, himself, has a lot of experience when it comes to sports and is a martial artist. He started training in sambo when a teenager, then switched to judo. He also practises karate. In Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, he also participated and won competitions in both sambo and judo.(source)
2. There is a webcomic called SuperPutin based on Putin, which depicts him as a superhero.
The comics were created by Sergei Kalenik, a PR freelancer, who reportedly said it wasn’t a paid job, though many critics were quick to say it was another publicity stunt. One of the comic strips from Super Putin depicts him fighting dark zombie-like opposition forces while he receives help from “nano-human” Medvedev. Putin can be seen as a commando-style protagonist in a computer game on Russia’s social networking site called Vkontakte.(source)
3. Vladimir Putin has a 9th degree black belt, Chuck Norris has an 8th degree.
Not stopping at achieving the 8th degree, Putin went on to have his 9th. On his visit to South Korea, the Russian leader was honored with a ninth-degree black belt from the president of the World Taekwondo Federation, which puts him a step above Chuck Norris. Putin, however, said he wasn’t sure he deserved it and to “let’s call it our campaign to popularize this wonderful martial art. Russia will do its best to contribute to its popularity at home”.(source)
4. For 16 years Putin worked as an officer in the KGB (the Committee for State Security), spying for the secret police agency in East Germany between 1975 and 1991.
Putin joined the KGB in 1975 and after training he was worked in the Second Chief Directorate and later transferred to First Chief Directorate where he monitored several foreigners and consular officials in Saint Petersburg. After the collapse of the Communist East German government he worked with the International Affairs section of Saint Petersburg State University, where he watched the student body and looked for new KGB recruits. In 1991, he resigned as Lieutenant Colonel and as the coup d’etat against then Soviet President began, Putin decided to choose against communism.(source)
5. T-shirts bearing images of the Russian leader, as well Putin canned food, Putinka Vodka and Gorbusha Putina caviar, are sold throughout Russia.
The name Putin also went on to become a brand. There are several products that use his name with the hope of attracting more attention. An award-winning Russian vodka made by Moscow Distillery Crystal is know as Putinka, and then there is PuTin canned food that has a T shaped sword in the middle of its logo that resembles his name, Gorbusha Putina caviar and a collection of T-shirts with his image on them.(source)