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Vladimir Vladimirovitj Putin (born 1952) was Russia's president 2000-2008. Putin studied law at the University of Saint Petersburg and was a KGB officer in the department for foreign espionage. Putin speaks fluent German as well as Russian. Between 1998 and 1999 he headed FSB, one of the successor agencies to the KGB. After that, he became Boris Yeltin's prime minister and succeeded him as president in 2000.