Where did Putin grow up?

The Week (US) - - News 11 -

He was born in Len­ingrad, now St. Peters­burg, in 1952. The city was still re­cov­er­ing from the Ger­man siege dur­ing World War II, in which Putin’s older brother died and his mother nearly starved to death. Post-siege Len­ingrad was, in the words of Rus­sian jour­nal­ist Masha Gessen, “a mean, hun­gry, im­pov­er­ished place that bred mean, hun­gry, fe­ro­cious chil­dren.” Putin grew up with two other fam­i­lies in a com­mu­nal apart­ment, with a shared sink and stove and no hot water. Short and slight, he was al­ways get­ting into fights with big­ger and stronger chil­dren— a dis­ad­van­tage he over­came by study­ing judo and the Rus­sian mar­tial art sambo. Putin be­came, in his own words, “a real thug,” and adopted a bel­liger­ent ap­proach to com­bat. “The Len­ingrad street taught me a rule,” he said in 2015. “If a fight is in­evitable, you have to throw the first punch.”

Putin in 2000: A KGB man for life

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