- Vladimir Putin is currently the President of Russia. He is the former head of the United Russia Party (UR), the dominant party in Russia. President Putin has established himself as an authoritarian leader through constitutional changes and social reforms. We assign Vladimir Putin a Right Bias and Mixed factual rating due to the promotion of propaganda and numerous false claims.
About Vladimir Putin
- President of Russia since 2012.
- After being barred from serving a third consecutive Prime Minister term, Putin became the president of Russia under his handpicked successor Dmitry Medvedev, from 2008- 2012.
- Putin was first elected as Prime Minister of Russia in 2000 and served two consecutive terms until 2008.
- Putin was appointed prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin in 1999.
- Prior to being Prime Minister, Putin served as the Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), one of Russia’s main intelligence agencies, 1999.
- Putin entered politics serving as the first deputy mayor for the mayor of St. Petersburg from 1994-1996.
- Putin was assigned to head the foreign relations committee of the Mayor’s Office in St. Petersburg in 1991.
- Putin started his career as a KGB officer in 1975 and worked in various roles until 1991.
Putin holds a de facto leadership role in United Russia (UR), a right-leaning political party in Russia. The party describes itself as centrist and conservative. Although not its founder, he has helped shape its policies, emphasizing a strong state and traditional values. UR was established in 1999 to support Putin as prime minister under President Yeltsin.
Due to Putin’s popularity for his actions in Chechnya, UR became dominant in national and regional parliaments. It advocates policies of economic liberalism, social protection, patriotism, and conservative values. Despite a significant vote drop in 2011, UR has maintained its majority in the State Duma since 2003.
In the 2014 regional elections, UR-nominated candidates won in the majority of provinces, confirming their dominant position. However, the party has faced criticism for suppressing dissent, with Putin’s authoritarian streak influenced by his background as a KGB officer. Further, in 2020 he changed the constitution removing term limits, allowing him to remain President for 12 additional years after 2024.
Putin’s Socially conservative policies promote the Russian Orthodox Church, leading to discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. The party has also faced criticism for mistreating religious minorities, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Finally, in 2013, United Russia passed a gay propaganda law that human rights groups have condemned as discriminatory.
Putin remains controversial, praised for his efforts to restore Russia’s global influence but criticized for his authoritarian tendencies and human rights violations. Putin has also been criticized for making false or misleading statements, including denying Russia’s involvement in poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK.
Recent Failed Fact Checks
- “[Russia and China] jointly work to create a more just and democratic multipolar world order, which should be based on the central role of the U.N., its Security Council, international law, and the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter.” – False
- “We relied not just on the Russian-speaking population there [in Ukraine] – the whole country is Russian-speaking, as a matter of fact.” – False
- “The tragedy that is taking place in Donbas also concerns our very small citizens, children.” – False
- “[A]fter the Second World War, Germany was, as you know, divided into four occupation zones: American, British, French, and Soviet. So, the Soviet Union legally ended the occupation, but the United States did not.” – False
- Ethnic Russians face “genocide perpetrated by the Kyiv regime.” – False
(M. Huitsing 04/07/2023)
Last Updated on April 7, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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