NEWSWATCH BBC: Vladimir Putin’s formative German years

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

[“Vladimir Putin’s formative German years” – BBC News – Chris Bowlby – Dresden, March 27, 2015]

The BBC covers some of Vladimir Putin’s experiences earlier in life, including his first foreign posting as a KGB officer, in East Germany during the collapse of Soviet Communism in eastern Europe. They also explore speculation about the lasting impact of those experiences upon Putin’s perspective towards government power, dramatic political change and popular political movements.

That phrase, ‘Moscow is silent’ has haunted this man ever since. Defiant yet helpless as the 1989 revolution swept over him, he has now himself become ‘Moscow’ – the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. ‘I think it’s the key to understanding Putin,’ says his German biographer, Boris Reitschuster. ‘We would have another Putin and another Russia without his time in East Germany.’


The experience taught him lessons he has never forgotten, gave him ideas for a model society, and shaped his ambitions for a powerful network and personal wealth.


Above all, it left him with a huge anxiety about the frailty of political elites, and how easily they can be overthrown by the people. …

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