Russian President Vladimir Putin, a judo black belt, seems to symbolise of the martial art’s key qualities – guile and aggression.
His rapid army interventions in Ukraine, annexing Crimea in March 2014, and Syria, bombing anti-executive rebels in a move that helped tip the battle within the Syrian executive’s favour, stunned many observers.
Mr Putin, SIXTY FIVE, has made no mystery of his determination to reassert Russian power after years of perceived humiliation by means of the us and its Nato allies.
In 2005 he famously known as the collapse of the Soviet Union “the largest geopolitical disaster of the 20th Century”.
He has spoken bitterly approximately Nato’s enlargement after the Chilly Warfare up to Russia’s borders.
Symbol copyright AFP Image caption In 2000 a 10-12 months-old Eastern lady floored Mr Putin in Tokyo
‘Throw first punch’
According to the Kremlin web site, Mr Putin wanted to work in Soviet intelligence “even earlier than he finished faculty”.
“Fifty years ago the Leningrad street taught me a rule: if a fight is inevitable you’ve gotten to throw the first punch,” Mr Putin stated in October 2015.
It is healthier to struggle “terrorists” in Syria, he explained, than to attend for them to strike in Russia.
He also used the crude language of a side road fighter while defending his military onslaught in opposition to separatist rebels in Chechnya, vowing to wipe them out “even in the bathroom”.
The basically Muslim North Caucasus republic was once left devastated by way of heavy preventing in 1999-2000, in which thousands of civilians died.
For Mr Putin, Georgia turned into any other Caucasus flashpoint.
In 2008 his forces routed the Georgian military and took over two breakaway areas – Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
It was once an excessively private conflict with Georgia’s then professional-Nato President, Mikheil Saakashvili. And it confirmed Mr Putin’s readiness to undermine pro-Western leaders in former Soviet states.
Vladimir Putin: From secret agent to president
Born 7 October 1952 in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) Studies legislation and joins KGB after school Serves as a secret agent in communist East Germany – a few ex-KGB comrades later get most sensible state posts in Putin generation nineties – best aide to St Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak, who in the past taught him legislation Enters Boris Yeltsin’s Kremlin in 1997, made chief of Federal Safety Service (the FSB – primary successor of the KGB), then prime minister New Year’s Eve, 1999 – Yeltsin quits and names him appearing president Simply wins presidential election in March 2000 Wins a 2d time period in 2004 Is barred from running for a 3rd successive time period by means of the Russian charter, however as an alternative turns into top minister Wins a 3rd presidential term in 2012.
Putin still in model 15 years on
Vladimir Putin’s formative German years
Church lends weight to Putin patriotism
Patriotic fervour at the upward thrust in Russia
Mr Putin appears to take pleasure in his macho image, helped by way of election stunts like flying into Chechnya in a fighter jet in 2000 and appearing at a Russian bikers’ pageant via the Black Sea in 2011.
The Night Wolves bikers’ gang performed a distinguished role in whipping up patriotic fervour all the way through Russia’s takeover of Crimea in 2014.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Back to nature in Siberia: Mr Putin has cultivated a macho image which appeals to many Russians Symbol copyright AFP Image caption In 2011 Mr Putin joined nationalist bikers – referred to as the Night Wolves – for a Black Sea pageant Symbol copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Putin was filmed in August 2015 playing a health club consultation with Top Minister Dmitry Medvedev Symbol copyright Reuters Image caption Circle Of Relatives fitness: Mr Putin’s more youthful daughter, Katerina Tikhonova, dances acrobatic rock ‘n’ roll Symbol copyright AFP Image caption March 2013: Mr Putin performs in the snow together with his canine out of doors Moscow
But Mr Putin has also proven a gentler aspect on Russian state media, cuddling his canines and helping to maintain endangered Amur tigers.
He is a proud former officer of the Soviet secret police, the KGB, with an entourage in large part drawn from that vintage Soviet security elite.
The 2014 Wintry Weather Olympics in Sochi was once a lavish showcase for the Putin technology: it value Russia an envisioned $51bn (£34bn) – the top price ticket for any Olympics.
He is hooked in to ice hockey, like judo – and state TV has proven his skills at the ice.
Liberals pushed out
Despite his long reign President Putin’s approval rankings are nonetheless high, Russian media file – the type of popularity that most Western leaders can simplest dream of.
Mr Putin’s logo of patriotism dominates Russia’s media, so those ratings don’t provide the whole picture. But dissenters do battle to be heard.
Symbol copyright AFP Symbol caption Mr Putin is regularly filmed attending Orthodox Church ceremonies
Global worry about human rights in Russia grew with the jailing of oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once one of the world’s richest billionaires, and of anti-Putin activists from the punk crew Pussy Riot.
Mr Putin’s 3rd term has been marked via conservative Russian nationalism. It has robust echoes of tsarist absolutism, encouraged by the Orthodox Church.
The Church denounced Pussy Rebel and supported a ban on teams spreading gay “propaganda” among youngsters.
Any non-governmental firms (NGOs) receiving international funding have been ordered to register as “international dealers” – a label echoing notorious Soviet-technology secret agent mania.
Mr Putin was described as a workaholic by the mum of his daughters, Lyudmila.
After just about 30 years of marriage, the couple jointly introduced they had been divorcing in 2013. “Vladimir Vladimirovich is totally drowned in paintings,” Mrs Putin stated.
It used to be an extraordinary glimpse into Mr Putin’s family lifestyles. He has stored his two daughters and monetary affairs neatly shielded from publicity.
But in step with a Reuters news research, his more youthful daughter, Katerina, is prospering in academia, has a top administrative task at Moscow State College and plays in acrobatic rock ‘n’ roll competitions.
Reuters says her identify is Tikhonova and he or she is the partner of Kirill Shamalov, son of a rich, longstanding Putin affiliate, Nikolai Shamalov.
The elder Putin daughter, Maria, is also an academic, specialising in endocrinology.
Reuters found that several different robust figures close to Mr Putin – incessantly ex-KGB – also have a hit youngsters in worthwhile management jobs.
Alexei Navalny known as it a “neo-feudal machine” that looks after a small, privileged class.