Russian President Turns 49

On October 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin turns 49. According to a source in the president's administration, he intends to celebrate his birthday at home with his family. "No official celebrations were planned for this occasion," the source told RIA Novosti. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on October 7, 1952 in Leningrad to Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War against fascist Germany of 1941-1945, a defender of Leningrad and a war invalid, and Maria Ivanovna Putin, a native of the Tver region. Having graduated from the faculty of law of the Leningrad State University in 1975, Putin was appointed to work for state security bodies. He spent five years between 1985 and 1990 on a mission in Germany. Retiring from secret services on August 20, 1991, he worked as international adviser to the Leningrad State University rector and chaired the External Links Committee at the Mayor's Office of St. Petersburg. Supervised the city's effort to attract investment, open joint ventures and cooperate with foreign partners. From 1994 to 1996, Putin acted as first vice-premier of St. Petersburg and chairman of the External Links Committee of the Mayor's Office of St. Petersburg. Simultaneously, he headed a municipal operative commission and supervised the work of law enforcement authorities and interaction with the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg. In August, 1996, he was transferred to Moscow and appointed deputy business manager of presidential affairs. March, 1997 -- appointed deputy head of the president's administration and head of the Chief Control Department. May, 1998 -- appointed first deputy head of the president's administration for territorial issues. July, 1998 -- appointed director of the Federal Security Service. March, 1999 -- appointed secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation. August, 1999 -- elected Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. December 31, 1999 -- acting President of the Russian Federation. March 26, 2000 -- elected President of the Russian Federation. Entered upon his duties on May 7, 2000. Putin is a candidate of economic science. Speaks fluent German and satisfactory English. Practices judo and unarmed self-defence since 11 years old. Won numerous St. Petersburg-based championships in unarmed self-defence. Won the title of master of sports in unarmed self-defence in 1973 and in judo in 1975. Married to Lyudmila Alexandrovna Putin. The couple has two daughters, Maria /born 1985/ and Yekaterina /born 1986/.

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