His Brilliant Career

1975 After graduating with a law degree from Leningrad State University, 23-year-old Putin joins the KGB.

1985 Serves in East Germany "recruiting sources and assessing information," as he described it, until 1990; witnesses the decline of the Soviet empire firsthand.

June 1991 Appointed head of St. Petersburg city council's International Relations Committee, a body set up to attract foreign investment. In August, he quits the KBG and in 1994, becomes first deputy mayor of the city.

May 1998 Named as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!