6 facts about the KGB agent who became the President of Russia.

1# Putin worked as a foreign intelligence officer for the KGB for 15 years until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

2# His private life is surprisingly, private. His family life including the life of his two daughters, is enveloped in an almost impenetrable secrecy. The discussion of his family life seems taboo and there seems to be an unspoken threat of serious repercussions if reporters dig too deeply. The Internet search that has innumerable images of the Trump daughters or the Obama daughters offers nothing about the Putin daughters. Nobody knows how they look or what they are doing and where they are.

3# The Russian President is a known lover of dogs and keeps several as pets. During one of his meetings with Angela Merkel at his home in 2007, he called his black labrador, Koni, into the room. Merkel is known to be petrified of dogs since she’d been bitten by one in her childhood.

From The New Yorker (emphasis added):
“As the dog approached and sniffed her, Merkel froze, visibly frightened. She’d been bitten once, in 1995, and her fear of dogs couldn’t have escaped Putin, who sat back and enjoyed the moment, legs spread wide. ‘I’m sure it will behave itself,’ he said. Merkel had the presence of mind to reply, in Russian, ‘It doesn’t eat journalists, after all.’ …”

“Later, Merkel interpreted Putin’s behavior. ‘I understand why he has to do this – to prove he’s a man,’ she told a group of reporters. ‘He’s afraid of his own weakness. Russia has nothing, no successful politics or economy. All they have is this.’”

4# Putin was an atheist as a child, but is now a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church and holds the belief that same-sex marriage is akin to Satan-worshipping. He has mentioned in a speech in September 2013 that Russia must avoid following European countries who were “going away from their roots” by legalising gay marriage.

5# The Russian President is a black belt in judo and is also trained in the Russian martial art Sambo. In 2012 the International Judo Federation granted him a high-ranking 8th Dan, one of the highest grades possible.

6# He drank a Ukrainian national treasure. When Putin first invaded the Ukrainian region of Crimea, he decided to drink a 240-year-old bottle of wine, a national treasure in Ukraine that is worth around $80,000.