Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is serving a six year term as President of Russia since he was elected in 2012. He topped the 2013 Forbes list of most powerful people in the world.
Putin previously served as President from 2000 to 2008. He was Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012. For 16 years Putin served as an officer in the secret service, KGB, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. . From 1985 to 1990, the KGB stationed Putin in Dresden, East Germany, returning to Russia then and entering politics in his native Saint Petersburg in 1991.
Russian President Vladimir Putin joined Orthodox Christians celebrating their Christmas this past week. That the former KGB officer has emerged a devout Orthodox believer underlines the complicated and controversial role religion has played in Russia, from Soviet times to the present day. DW correspondent Charles Maynes went to meet one village priest who's witnessed all this history.