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.
The UK defense chief has said that Vladimir Putin could launch an undercover campaign to destabilize the Baltic states. The remarks come a day after Britain escorted two Russian long-range bombers away from its airspace.
On Wednesday the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stepped up his criticism of his EU allies, saying they were trying to isolate Moscow over Ukraine. His comments came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Budapest for talks. The two leaders cemented their growing ties and agreed on an energy deal. Kerry Skyring reports.