Then I returned again to Leningrad, worked there in the First Main Directorate – the intelligence service.

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Incidentally, my relatives still vacation in the house where my grandparents lived.

It was in Pominovo that my father met my mother, and they got married at the age of 17.” After the war, the Putin family moved into a room in a communal apartment [kommunalka], in a typical St Petersburg dwelling house on Baskov Lane. Before the war [World War II], my parents occupied half of the house in Peterhof and were very proud of the living standards they had achieved then. 281, a chemistry-focused magnet school under the aegis of a technology institute, completing his studies there in 1970.

His father, Vladimir Putin, participated in the war.

In the 1950s, he worked as a security guard and later as a foreman at the carriage works. When World War I began, life in St Petersburg became hard, people were starving, so the entire family moved to Pominovo, a village in the Tver Region my grandmother came from.

But, of course, I trained on a regular basis and participated in nation-wide competitions, almost out of habit.” After graduating from Leningrad State University, Putin was assigned to work in the state security agencies.

“My perception of the KGB was based on the idealistic stories I heard about intelligence.” He was first appointed to the Directorate secretariat, then the counterintelligence division, where he worked for about five months.

I realised that I also needed to study well,” Vladimir Putin says.

In 1970, Vladimir Putin became a student of law department at Leningrad State University, earning his degree in 1975.

He went to a public reception office of the KGB Directorate to find out how to become an intelligence officer.

There, he was told that first, he would have to either serve in the army or complete college, preferably with a degree in law.

“We had a class of 100 people, and only 10 of them entered immediately after high school, the rest had already completed military service.