20 years of Putin in Russia | Key milestones during his rule

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Vladimir Putin has been in office as either President or Prime Minister of Russia for two decades now. Some of the highlights of Putin’s 20 years in power.

Vladimir Putin has been in office as either President or Prime Minister of Russia for two decades now. He was named acting President on December 31, 1999, after having been appointed acting Prime Minister earlier that year. Some of the highlights of Putin’s 20 years in power:

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1999: Initiation

August 9: During an economic crisis, President Boris Yeltsin names Putin, then little-known security chief, as his acting prime minister (the fifth in less than a year). Yeltsin says he wants Putin to succeed him as President. In the following weeks, bombings across Russia kill more than 300 people, and Putin responds with a crackdown that includes aerial bombing of parts of Chechnya — although critics question if Chechen militants were really behind the bombings in Russia.

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December 31: Yeltsin resigns, names Putin acting President.

2000-04: First term

March 26, 2000: Putin wins his first presidential election.

August 12: Nuclear-powered submarine sinks in the Barents Sea after an explosion on board, killing all 118 crew after an explosion. President Putin’s image suffers after he comments on the crisis only after four days.

2002: Chechen militants take more than 800 people hostage at a Moscow theatre. Special forces end the siege, but use a poison gas in the process, which kills many of the hostages.

2004-08: Second term

March 2004: Putin wins second term as President with more than 70% of the vote after oil prices fuel a consumer boom and raise living standards, a trend that continues for another four years.

September: Islamist fighters seize more than 1,000 people in a school in southern Russia. A total of 334 hostages are killed, more than half of them children. Some parents say the authorities botched the handling of the siege and blame Putin.

December: Putin scraps direct elections for regional governors, effectively making them Kremlin appointees.

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2005: President Putin describes the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century.

2006: Investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a critic of human rights abuses in Chechnya, is murdered in Moscow. Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko dies in London that same year after being poisoned with a radioactive substance. A British inquiry years later concludes that he was killed by Russian agents.

2007: Putin gives a speech in Munich in which he lashes out at the United States, accusing Washington of the “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations”

2008-12: PM & President

May 2008: Because of constitutional limits on serving more than two consecutive presidential terms, Putin becomes Prime Minister instead. His ally, Dmitry Medvedev, becomes President.

August 2008: Russia fights and wins a short war with Georgia.

2012: Putin returns to the presidency, winning re-election with over 60% of the vote after a decision to extend presidential terms to six from four years. Large anti-Putin protests take place before and after the vote, with critics alleging voter fraud.

2012-18: Crimea & Syria

February 27, 2014: Russian forces start annexing Ukraine’s Crimea region after Ukrainian protesters oust their country’s President Viktor Yanukovych, who was sympathetic to Moscow. Russia incorporates Crimea in March after a referendum condemned by the West. The US and EU impose sanctions on Moscow.

April 2014: Pro-Russian separatist revolt in eastern Ukraine; conflict is still ongoing with more than 13,000 dead. Rebels take control of a vast swathe of territory. Western nations accuse Russia of backing the revolt; Moscow denies direct involvement.

September 30: Russia launches air-strikes in Syria, turning the tide of the conflict in President Bashar al-Assad’s favour.

November 2016: Donald Trump is elected President of the United States after promising to improve battered ties with Moscow. US authorities determine that Russia tried to interfere in the election in Trump’s favour; Moscow denies it.

March 4, 2018: A former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter are poisoned in England with a nerve agent. They survive but a woman who lives nearby dies after her partner brings home the poison found in a discarded perfume bottle. Britain accuses Russia, which denies involvement.

2018: Until 2024

March 19, 2018: Putin wins a landslide re-election victory and a mandate to stay in office until 2024.

July 2019: Protests break out in Moscow over a municipal election which the opposition says is unfair.

December 2019: President Putin boasts of his country’s lead in hypersonic weapons and says other countries are trying to catch up.

 

Source: Indian Express | Reuters

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