December 4, 2014
The Ignatian Leader of Russia
Vladimir Putin supremely demonstrates Ignatian leadership in Russia as both Prime Minister and President, by responding to criticism with emotional maturity, promoting justice and values throughout Russia, and seeking responsibilities and challenges greater than his own reach.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on October 7th, 1952, in Leningrad, Russia, to Vladimir and Maria Putin. Throughout his life, Putin has been regarded in Russia as a devout Orthodox Christian as he consistently attends mass and visibly displays his cross hung around his neck during public events. On July 28th, 1983, Putin married Lyudmila Putin. Within a few years, they gave birth to Yekaterina and Maria. Putin and Lyudmila eventually divorced, a relatively rare occurrence at 4.8% among Russian marriages. After graduating from Leningrad State University Law in 1975, Putin began his public service career working as an intelligence officer for the KGB, considered to be an FBI equivalent, for both the former Soviet Union and present-day Russia (Bio.com).
Putin’s early political years were primarily spent abroad, away from his family. Until 1989, while working for the KGB, he was based in East Germany, though he changed locations regularly. Immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Putin retired from the KGB with the respected rank of colonel, and returned to Leningrad as an assistant to the liberal
politician Anatoly Sobchak. After Sobchak won the election for mayor of Leningrad, Putin was appointed head of external relations in 1994. Within a few years, Putin became Sobchak’s first deputy mayor. However, Sobchak came up short in votes in the election seeking his second term, which led to Putin resigning from deputy mayor and promptly moving to Moscow in 1996 to pursue his career in a larger city with more political opportunities. Shortly after arriving in the capital, Putin was placed in charge of Kremlin Relations with regional governments by Boris Yeltsin’s presidential administration (Bio.com). Shortly after this appointment, Putin’s hard work in the KGB paid off as he was promoted to head of federal security, as well as head of Yeltsin’s private security. His persistent and conscientious efforts were rewarded as Yeltsin dismissed his prime minister and nominated Putin for this very high-level position. After Putin was elected President of Russia, he sought challenges through the Chechen revolt by accepting all responsibilities raised by this conflict and taking effective actions to end the war. Putin was extremely familiar with the Chechen conflict, which first broke out in war during 1994 – 1996, as Putin studied national issues closely in preparation for his move to Russia in 1996. He knew that one of his responsibilities in his job as head of federal security beginning in 1998 was to make every effort possible to end this ongoing conflict. In order to end the second Chechen war which lasted from August 1999 to May 2000, Putin, serving as both Prime Minister and President during these months, successfully negotiated on Russia’s behalf and established the Khasav-Yurt Accord peace treaty (smh.com.au). Putin’s tremendous accomplishment of taking effective initiative in these difficult negotiations greatly impressed Boris Yeltsin, who soon appointed Putin to the position of Prime Minister. Four months later with Russia in
economic turmoil, Yetsin under severe pressure resigned his office, and as second in command, Putin then became acting President.
As the new president, Putin was immediately tested with the economic catastrophe created by Yeltsin. Putin fully acknowledged the dire situation and immediately tried to lower the country’s national debt. At first, the national debt increased tremendously, and the media constantly bashed the new president. Putin spoke to the Russian people in 1998 to explain his controversial actions,...
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