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Vladimir Putin, former agent of the KGB (Committee for State Security) and candidate for a third presidential mandate, tries by all means to hide his personal life. In 1999, Putin took office as acting president of the Euro-Asian country after the resignation of Boris Yeltsin. He won the elections in 2000 and was re-elected four years later.
After the end of his second mandate in 2008, the prime minister of that time, Dmitry Medvedev, was elected his successor, and only a day after, Putin took the post of the new prime minister. Paradoxically, all the political power was in his hands again. This provoked the discontent of the Russian nation to some extent.
People are well-acquainted with Putin, but his personal life is a mystery, even for his compatriots. His wife, Lyudmila Putina, hardly ever attends official public events. Putin has been in power for more than ten years, but the Russian community does not know what his daughters look like. There are contradictory speculations about where they live. In 2010, there was a rumor that his youngest heir was to marry her boyfriend, son of a retired North Korean admiral. However, this news was denied by both sides.
Putin is almost never asked questions concerning his private life. For the Russian media, it is a subject of taboo. The reason may lie in the closure of a public newspaper in 2008, after they published an article that claimed Putin had left his wife and married a 24 year-old Olympic gymnast named Alina Kabaeva, who was a deputy and a member of his party at that time.
In the totalitarian past of Russia, it was easy for politicians to stop the spread of rumors, whether correct or incorrect. However, it becomes more tricky in todays digital age. Millions of blogs and web pages post stories about Putin and his family which are, in many cases, completely made up. Last year, one rumor stated that Putin spent his life in a monastery. Of course, the Russian Orthodox Church called these speculations “nonsense”, and the spokesman of the prime minister at that time declined to comment.
Pressed by the global media society and the scandalous gossip concerning himself, Putin revealed that his daughters lead an ordinary life. However, the the Russian nation wants to know where they are. Maybe in his next mandate, he will reveal this secret. In 2010, it was said that Putin and his wife were about to divorce, but they appeared on a talk show together. However, Lyudmila was not wearing her wedding ring. That made the newspapers much fiercer in their exaggeration about the marital drama of the Putins.
American and European journalists have the freedom to delve into the personal life of their political leaders, but in Russia, authorities are protected by the law. That is why Putin will always remain an enigma for the Russian nation and the world.