Vladimir Putin is becoming a household name in the US.
The Russian president has been in the US news lately due to — among other things — an investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign, tensions around Syria, and the US Senate conversations around imposing new sanctions on the Russia.
The former KGB agent served as Russia’s prime minister from 1999 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2012. From 2000 to 2008 and 2012 to the present day, he has held the office of the presidency. While some praised his partial reversal of Russia’s economic fortunes, his tenure has sent the country sliding back into authoritarianism, according to the Economist’s Democracy Index.
Here are some quotes that provide some insight into how Putin sees the world:
‘I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days.’
The Russian president has a history of making sexist comments. He let another one fly while speaking to Oliver Stone for his upcoming documentary — which has been criticized for “pandering” to the strongman.
‘The task of the government is not only to pour honey into a cup, but sometimes to give bitter medicine.’
After announcing his intention to run for the presidency in 2012, the strongman said that the Russian government would need to take controversial steps to deal with the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
‘It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.’
In 2000, Russia’s Kursk submarine sank in the Barents Sea, killing all 118 people aboard. Putin’s government went on to release confusing statements about what went wrong. During an appearance on Larry King’s talk show, Putin provided a terse, two word answer about what happened to the submarine. When the mother of one of the victims confronted him during a meeting with family members, she was violently sedated, as the New York Post reported.
‘Sometimes it is necessary to be lonely in order to prove that you are right.’
At the 2014 G-8 Summit, Putin clashed with other world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, over the issue of providing support to Syrian rebels. After the tense talks, he defended his opposition to the move.
‘We will chase terrorists everywhere. If in an airport, then in the airport. So if we find them in the toilet, excuse me, we’ll rub them out in the outhouse. And that’s it, case closed.’
In 1999, while responding to a reporter’s question about Russia’s war with Chechenya, Putin outlined this colorful and controversial description of his counter-terrorism strategy. He apologized for the statement in 2011.
‘The more I know about people, the more I like dogs. I simply like animals.’
‘I am the wealthiest man, not just in Europe, but in the whole world. I collect emotions.’
It’s unclear how much Putin is actually worth. Estimates range around $40 billion, according to Fortune. However, “The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin” quotes Putin as saying his “greatest wealth” is being elected to lead Russia.
‘Everything will probably never be okay. But we have to try for it.’
In 2013, Putin hosted a televised Q&A session that lasted for a staggering four hours and 47 minutes. During that time, the Russian president was asked: “When will everything be okay?” His response was bleak.
Source: Business Insider
Featured Image: Morning News USA
Inset Image: The Guardian/Maxim Shemetov / Pool Reuters / AP/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/AP/Dmitry Lovetsky/AP/Str/AP Photo/The Telegraph/Time/Alexei Nikolsky / AP/The Telelraph