Vladimir Putin is seemingly constantly in the news for his antics. The Russian president has been known to pull some political stunts that have shocked more than a few people. Though the president is constantly in the spotlight, there are still some things that many people don’t know about him. Here, we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Vladimir Putin.
Number Fifteen: He Is Divorced. Putin and his ex-wife, Lyudmila Putin, are divorced. She is a linguist and used to be a flight attendant, and, in regards to the marriage, Putin has said, “We practically never saw each other. To each his own life.” They announced that they were splitting in 2014.
Number Fourteen: He Has Two Very Private Daughters. Putin’s daughters are named Maria and Katerina, and they were born in 1985 and 1986, respectively. They stay out of the public eye, and there is no official family picture of them.
Number Thirteen: He Alleges That He Comes From an Ordinary Family. Putin has said that he had an “average, normal” upbringing. His mother, Maria, was a factory worker, and his father, also named Vladimir, is a World War II veteran. He has one older brother who died as a child.
Number Twelve: He Grew Up Poor. After the Siege of Leningrad, his mother nearly died, and his entire family had to move to a communal building that was infested with rats. Putin spent his days chasing rats with a stick, and he lived without hot water, a bathtub or even a toilet.
Number Eleven: His Grandfather Can Really Cook. Putin has said that he has been highly influenced by his paternal grandfather, who is named Spiridon Ivanovich Putin. He was a chef who worked for Lenin and Stalin, and he fed them so well that he was never killed. He was able to pass what he learned to Vladimir when he was a child.
Number Ten: He Was a Troublemaker. According to an author of a book about Putin, he grew up as a troublemaker. He was prone to violence, was a bad student, and was a “schoolyard punk.”
Number Nine: He Was Interested in Martial Arts. When Putin was 12 years old, he began learning how to box. He then moved on to judo, karate, and sambo, which is a Societ martial art. He was able to use these sports as compensation for his short stature.
Number Eight: He Pursued a Law Degree in Hopes of Joining the KGB. When Putin learned that attending law school would greatly increase his chances of being recruited into the KGB, he decided to enroll at Leningrad State University in 1970. He was then recruited into the KGB at the age of 22.
Number Seven: He Was Undercover for Five Years. Putin is fluent in German, and he can also appear to look Nordic, so he was sent to Dresden in 1985 and spent the next five years undercover. He was very good at what he did and was not put off by violence.
Number Six: He Is Ultimately a Calculator. Putin calculates his moves, rather than reacting to what other people do. He is very rational and is capable of measuring costs of something against its benefits.
Number Five: He Likes The Beatles. Apparently, Putin is a fan of The Beatles – his favorite member of The Beatles is Paul McCartney, and his favorite song by The Beatles is “Yesterday.”
Number Four: He Sleeps In. Putin reportedly likes to sleep in, and he doesn’t eat his breakfast until around noon each day.
Number Three: He Loves Swimming. Putin has admitted that he likes to swim, and he reportedly goes swimming every day after breakfast. Swimming allows Putin to clear his mind and properly think.
Number Two: He Doesn’t Live in Moscow. Putin has said that he finds Moscow too congested, so he has a palace outside of the city. This palace is where he performs most of his work.
Number One: He Hates the Internet. He has actually said that he finds the internet confusing. However, Putin has said that he loves spy novels, so you might be more likely to find him reading a good spy novel than browsing Reddit for one.