Putin was born in Leningrad during the Soviet Union. He studied law at Leningrad State Universitygraduating in He moved to Moscow in and joined President Boris Yeltsin 's administration, rising quickly through the ranks and becoming Acting President on 31 Decemberwhen Yeltsin resigned.
Experts do not generally consider Russia to be a democracy, citing the lack of free and fair elections, purges and jailing of opponents, and curtailed press freedom. His birth was preceded by the death of two brothers, Viktor and Albert, born in the mids.
On 1 SeptemberPutin started at School No. He was one of a few in the class of approximately 45 pupils who was not yet a member of the Young Pioneer organization. At age 12, he began to practice sambo and judo. He is a Judo black belt and national master of sports in Sambo. He wished to emulate the intelligence officers portrayed in Soviet cinema. After the collapse of the Communist East German governmentPutin returned to Leningrad in earlywhere he worked for about three months with the International Affairs section of Leningrad Russian president divorces wife sexual dysfunction Universityreporting to Vice-Rector Yuriy Molchanov.
InPutin described communism as "a blind alley, far away from the mainstream of civilization". In a interview with Oliver StonePutin said that he resigned from the KGB infollowing the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, as he did not agree with what had happened and did not want to be part of the intelligence in the new administration. He described this in "The Putin interviews".
On 28 Junehe became head of the Committee for External Relations of the Mayor's OfficeRussian president divorces wife sexual dysfunction responsibility for promoting international relations and foreign investments  and registering business ventures. Within a year, Putin was investigated by the city legislative council led by Marina Salye. Inhe managed the legislative election campaign for that party, and from through Junehe was the leader of its Saint Petersburg branch.
He occupied this position until March During his tenure, Putin 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.
His predecessor on this position was Alexei Kudrin and the successor was Nikolai Patrushev Russian president divorces wife sexual dysfunction, both future prominent politicians and Putin's associates. On 25 MayPutin was appointed First Deputy Chief of Presidential Staff for regions, replacing Viktoriya Mitina ; and, on 15 July, he was appointed head of the commission for the preparation of agreements on the delimitation of power of regions and the federal center attached to the president, replacing Sergey Shakhray.
After Putin's appointment, the commission completed no such agreements, although during Shakhray's term as the Head of the Commission 46 agreements were signed. Later on that same day, Putin agreed to run for the presidency.
On his appointment, few expected Putin, virtually unknown to the general public, to Russian president divorces wife sexual dysfunction any longer than his predecessors. He was initially regarded as a Yeltsin loyalist; like other prime ministers of Boris Yeltsin, Putin did not choose ministers himself, his cabinet was determined by the presidential administration.
Yeltsin's main opponents and would-be successors were Russian president divorces wife sexual dysfunction campaigning to replace the ailing president, and they fought hard to prevent Putin's emergence as a potential successor. Following the Russian apartment bombingsPutin's law-and-order image and his unrelenting approach to the Second Chechen War against the Chechen Republic of Ichkeriasoon combined to raise Putin's popularity and allowed him to overtake all rivals.
While not formally associated with any party, Putin pledged his support to the newly formed Unity Party which won the second largest percentage of the popular vote On assuming this role, Putin went on a previously scheduled visit to Russian troops in Chechnya. The first Presidential Decree that Putin signed, on 31 Decemberwas titled "On guarantees for former president of the Russian Federation and members of his family".
On 30 Decemberyet another case against the prosecutor general was dropped "for lack of evidence", in spite of thousands of documents passed by Swiss prosecution. The case of Putin's alleged corruption in metal exports from was brought back by Marina Salyebut she was silenced and forced to leave Saint Petersburg. The inauguration of President Putin occurred on 7 May The first major challenge to Putin's popularity came in Augustwhen he was criticized for the alleged mishandling of the Kursk submarine disaster.