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Vladimir Putin: The Early Years

On New Year's Eve 1999, Russian President Boris Yeltsin handed over power to his prime minister, Vladimir Putin, who was acting president until he won an early election in March 2000. In 1990, Putin began his political career in the office of St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, where he stayed until Sobchak lost an election in 1996, after which he joined Yeltsin's administration.

Vladimir Putin, chairman of St. Petersburg's External Relations Committee, looks on at Mariinsky Palace in St. Petersburg on August 20, 1991.
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Vladimir Putin, chairman of St. Petersburg's External Relations Committee, looks on at Mariinsky Palace in St. Petersburg on August 20, 1991.

Vladimir Putin and St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak (right) during a naming ceremony for Austrian Square in St. Petersburg on September 28, 1992.
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Vladimir Putin and St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak (right) during a naming ceremony for Austrian Square in St. Petersburg on September 28, 1992.

Putin (left), chairman of St. Petersburg's External Relations Committee, takes part in a ceremony to open an electronics store in St. Petersburg on April 29, 1993.
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Putin (left), chairman of St. Petersburg's External Relations Committee, takes part in a ceremony to open an electronics store in St. Petersburg on April 29, 1993.

Putin (front right) looks at a Honda car during a ceremony in St. Petersburg on April 29, 1993.
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Putin (front right) looks at a Honda car during a ceremony in St. Petersburg on April 29, 1993.

Vladimir Putin, the city's newly appointed first deputy mayor, attends a news conference in St. Petersburg in December 1995.
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Vladimir Putin, the city's newly appointed first deputy mayor, attends a news conference in St. Petersburg in December 1995.

Vladimir Putin, as first deputy mayor, attends a ceremony to open a new booking office at the Moskovsky Railway Station in St. Petersburg on May 12, 1996.
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Vladimir Putin, as first deputy mayor, attends a ceremony to open a new booking office at the Moskovsky Railway Station in St. Petersburg on May 12, 1996.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin (right) shakes hands with Putin, whom he'd appointed to head the Federal Security Service in July, at a meeting in his Gorki Residence in Moscow on November 10, 1998.
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Russian President Boris Yeltsin (right) shakes hands with Putin, whom he'd appointed to head the Federal Security Service in July, at a meeting in his Gorki Residence in Moscow on November 10, 1998.

Yeltsin (right) meets with Prime Minister Putin in the Kremlin on September 16, 1999, a month after he was named to head the government.
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Yeltsin (right) meets with Prime Minister Putin in the Kremlin on September 16, 1999, a month after he was named to head the government.

Yeltsin (right) waves as he prepares to hand over the presidential office to Putin (left) at the Kremlin in Moscow on December 31, 1999.
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Yeltsin (right) waves as he prepares to hand over the presidential office to Putin (left) at the Kremlin in Moscow on December 31, 1999.

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