Russian President Vladimir Putin: “I am convinced that the true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia. Our spiritual, human and civilizational ties have formed for centuries and have been rooted in the same sources, they have been hardened by common trials, achievements and victories.”
“Efforts to bring more democracy to international relations and affirm a polycentric world order include reforming the UN Security Council by strengthening it with Asian, African, and Latin American countries, and ending the anomaly with the excessive representation of the West in the UN’s main body,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov wrote.
Russian President Vladimir Putin: “America recently faced some of the hardest events in its history, after the murder of an African American and the creation of the whole Black Lives Matter movement. I will not comment on this now, I just want to say that the things we saw – pogroms, violations of the law, and so on – we sympathize with the Americans and the American people, but we do not want this to happen on our territory.”
“I believe very strongly that our protections under the Constitution depend on the transparency of our government. Because it’s in the dark spaces, it’s in the unlit spaces of government activity that abuses occur, or can occur,” said Timothy Naftali, an associate professor at New York University.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, on October 7, 1952. He grew up with his family in a communal apartment, attending the local grammar and high schools, where he developed an interest in sports. After graduating from Leningrad State University with a law degree in 1975, Putin began his career in the KGB as an intelligence officer. Stationed mainly in East Germany, he held that position until 1990, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Upon returning to Russia, Putin held an administrative position at the University of Leningrad, and after the fall of communism in 1991 became an adviser to liberal politician Anatoly Sobchak. When Sobchak was elected mayor of Leningrad later that year, Putin became his head of external relations, and by 1994, Putin had become Sobchak’s first deputy mayor.