“For twenty years, American troops had been on this [Afghan] territory and for twenty years they tried – one can say this without offending anyone – to civilise the people who live there, to introduce their norms and standards of life in the broadest sense of the word, including the political organisation of society”, Vladimir Putin said.
“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.
“This is something we are watching very closely and this really is a red line for us – as regards the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO. Of course, this (the question of a membership plan for Ukraine) raises our concerns,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.
“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.