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.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, Russia confirmed what many in the West had long suspected: the crash of a Russian Metro Jet airliner over the Sinai peninsula in Egypt last month - killing all 224 people on board - was an act of terrorism. And as Charles Maynes reports from Moscow, that finding has potentially big implications for international alliances.
While a divide remains over the fate of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Moscow and Western countries began to move closer towards military cooperation. Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to treat the French "as allies."