Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (Russian; born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician who has been the President of Russia since 7 May 2012. Putin previously served as President from 2000 to 2008 and as Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000, and again from 2008 to 2012. Putin also served as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus from 2008 to 2012. Putin began his career in the KGB but entered politics in his native Saint Petersburg in 1990. He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined president Boris Yeltsin's administration where he rose quickly, becoming acting President on 31 December 1999 when Yeltsin resigned unexpectedly. Putin won the 2000 presidential election and was re-elected in 2004. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits, Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive presidential term in 2008.
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