Who exactly is Vladimir Putin and how was his experience with U.S. high-level officials as a Russian deputy mayor? To understand Putin today, we must also understand him in the past. The president of Russia was not always the leader of his country. Like many leaders, he was once a government employee, following someone else’s orders, and reporting to a higher ranking official.
Putin’s current role as president likely overshadows his previous days as a KGB foreign intelligence officer and later as deputy mayor of Moscow. However, this excerpt by Commercial Service Officer Karen Zens shows otherwise, as she recounts one of Deputy Mayor Putin’s first interactions with the United States following the fall of the Soviet Union. This exclusive story gives us some insight on how Putin’s earlier interactions with the United States paved the way for his future foreign relations.