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Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Lesser-known facts about Vladimir Putin, Russia's longest serving leader since Stalin

Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Lesser-known facts about Vladimir Putin, Russia's longest serving leader since Stalin
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By CNBCTV18.com Feb 25, 2022 6:42:11 PM IST (Updated)

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Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and its forces have entered the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. With both Russia and Ukraine claiming of mass casualties on either side, let's take a look at Russian President Vladimir Putin's might, who was voted as the world's most powerful person for four years until 2016. (Reuters)

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1. Putin is the longest-serving Russian leader since Joseph Stalin. He has served as the Prime Minister and President of Russia for over two decades, a period  characterised by territorial tensions in Eastern Europe and crackdowns on political opponents. (Image: Reuters)

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2. Putin has cultivated an image of the "action man", often staging elaborate photo ops to perpetuate the strongman image. Away from public life, Putin has lived a life of extremes starting from poverty, to working as an intelligence officer for the KGB and finally becoming the country's president. (Image: Reuters)

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3. Putin lived in a communal apartment. He was born on October 7, 1952, in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), the Russian president grew up in a shared apartment occupied by three families. Russia's premier now resides in a rural palace, which is worth over $1 billion.

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4. Putin test drove a Renault Formula 1 team car in 2010 at a special racing track outside St Petersburg. He's a die-hard F1 fan. (Image: Reuters)

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5. Putin is an advocate for animal rights. The Soviet leader has a small pack of dogs at home and has a keen interest in research on tigers, polar bears, dolphins, and cranes. The Russian leader has brought in laws to protect animals like the Law on Responsible Treatment of Animals that prohibits killing of strays and ensures proper care for pets. (Image: Reuters)

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6. In 2015, the Russian President took a ride in a submersible to a sunken shipwreck during a visit to Crimea after it was annexed by Moscow the previous year. Putin sank to the floor of the Black Sea near the port city of Sevastopol, from where remains of the Byzantine ship were discovered earlier. In 2011, Putin had taken a dive to an archaeological excavation of an ancient Greek port on the Taman Peninsula. (Image: Reuters)

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7. In 2017, while visiting China for the 'One Belt, One Road' conference, Putin displayed his artistic side by playing two Soviet-era tunes on the piano. According to reports, Putin played "Evening Song" by Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi and "Moscow Windows" by Tikhon Khrennikov. (Image: Reuters)

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8. The Russian President scored at least eight goals in an exhibition game of ice hockey in May 2021 at the amateur Night Hockey League in the southern city of Sochi. (Image: Reuters)

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9. The Soviet leader is said to have flown a motorised delta plane in Yamalo-Nenets district to lead Siberian cranes on a migration route. (Image: Reuters)

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10. According to former Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder, the net worth of the Russian leader is estimated at $200 billion. "I estimate that (Putin) has accumulated $200 billion of ill-gotten gains," Browder had told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. (Image: Reuters)

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