Unseen Footage Reveals a Different Side of Vladimir Putin
Stepping Back in Time: Putin’s Private Visit to Finland
Finnish television has recently released previously unseen footage of a private visit to Finland made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the early 1990s. This footage, capturing a relaxed holiday with Putin’s family and his then-boss, Anatolij Sobčak, the Mayor of Saint Petersburg, provides a rare glimpse into Putin’s personal life away from his political sphere.
Activities such as table tennis, darts, and fishing are captured on film, with Putin often seen with his back to the camera, seemingly aware he is being filmed. Also present in the footage are Putin’s wife, Ljudmila, and their daughters, Marija and Katerina.
From Casual Moments to Political Discussions
Documented in the footage is a relaxed meal with beer and wine in a stone building. Anatolij Sobčak is seen at the head of the table, while Putin, then around 40 years old, cracks a joke about the market economy that was introduced in Russia after the end of communism.
The Setting: A Villa Owned by Finnish Company Thomesto
The footage was shot at a villa owned by the Finnish company Thomesto, which imported timber from Russia. The villa is situated on Torsö Island in Raseborg, around 95 kilometers west of Helsinki on the southern coast of Finland.
Putin’s Transition from KGB to Politics
Putin, who returned to Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) in 1990 after spending five years in Dresden as a KGB intelligence officer, joined Sobčak’s team upon his return to Russia. He became the head of the committee for external relations, responsible for trade and foreign investments. Putin claims that he left the KGB in August 1991 as a protest against the failed coup against Mikhail Gorbachev. During his visit to Finland, he confirmed to the source of the footage that he had worked for the spy agency.
The Footage: A Rare Insight into Putin’s Life
The main takeaways from the footage are that it provides a rare glimpse into Putin’s personal life and his relationship with Sobčak. It also confirms his former role in the KGB, which he has publicly acknowledged. The footage offers an exclusive peek into Putin’s past, showing a side of the Russian leader that is often kept away from the public eye.
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