When Putin was a taxi driver – “Unpleasant to talk about it”

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Vladimir Putin recently spoke of his grief over the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, revealing that he had been forced to work informally as a “taxi driver” for a while to supplement his income.

The economic crisis that followed the collapse had forced many Russians at the time to look for new ways to earn a living. The Russian president described the break-up of the Soviet Union as “the collapse of historic Russia”, a statement that, according to the BBC, could spark speculation about the Russian president’s intentions against Ukraine, a former USSR member.

It is recalled that Russia has recently gathered 90,000 troops on its border with Ukraine and fears have been expressed that an invasion is being prepared. Russia categorically denies having such aspirations and accuses Ukraine of provocative moves.

The comments of the Russian president were made in the context of a documentary that was shown yesterday, Sunday, entitled “Russia, the modern history”. “It was about disintegrating historic Russia under the name of the Soviet Union,” the Russian president said in the documentary, adding that the West at the time considered further disintegration of Russia a matter of time.

It may well be known that Vladimir Putin sees the collapse of the Soviet Union as a tragedy, but this is one of the few times he talks about the personal difficulties he experienced at that time. “Sometimes I had to make extra money. I mean, to make money behind the wheel, as a private driver. “To be honest, it’s hard to talk about it, but unfortunately it is true.” notes the Russian president.

According to the BBC, taxis were rare in Russia at the time, and many private individuals offered races to strangers in their car to get by. There were even some who used as “taxis” even ambulances.

It is known that the Russian president served as a KGB agent. In the early 1990s, however, he worked in the office of St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak. He insists he resigned from the KGB after the August 1991 “coup” against USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, which eventually led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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