Putin Drove a Taxi in the 90s


RT/Moscow: In a recent interview with Russian journalists, Vladimir Putin has revealed that he doubled as a taxi driver in the 1990s, when he found himself in a financial predicament.

Admitting he didn’t like “talking about it,” the president shared the previously unknown details in footage for a documentary named ‘Recent History’, which reviews the past three decades in Russia.

The feature-length movie charts the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the tumultuous events that ensued, and follows the country’s course all the way to modern-day Russia, with Putin at the helm. It has been in production for four years and will first air on Russian TV on Sunday, with a teaser being made available on Saturday.

In 2018, Putin had mentioned that, back in 1996, he had entertained the idea of working part-time as a taxi driver, after his then-boss, Anatoly Sobchak, lost an electoral race to secure a second term as St. Petersburg’s mayor. As a senior adviser to Sobchak, he had led his campaign for the vote. However, the president didn’t confirm on that occasion that he had actually got behind the wheel to improve his circumstances.

Following Sobchak’s defeat, Putin was offered a job in the presidential administration in Moscow, which he accepted, leaving his hometown for the Russian capital.

In the documentary, Putin drops another bombshell: he says he knew for a fact that “at least one CIA operative” worked as an adviser to the Russian government in the 1990s. On Thursday, when talking with a panel of human-rights experts, he stated that, during that period, US intelligence agents had infiltrated Russia’s power structures, but that he had “cleaned them out” on taking over as president.

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  1. Putin shouldn’t be ashamed of that. I imagine a lot of people have been in a situation where the future outlook looked promising then, thru no fault of your own, disaster strikes. Being a part-time cab driver because you had to feed your family is not something to be embarrassed about. On the flip side, he could have been a nocturnal-mammal Russian, betrayed his principles, threw in with Drunker-Than-Cooter-Brown Yeltzen, and had a cushier lifestyle – for a moment. Putin should look at the fact that he is a man who rose from being a part-time taxi driver to the man who, not only became president of his country, actually SAVED his country, as much as anyone who fought in Stalingrad.

    • Some media hype promoting the film, saying this fact he worked as taxi driver “previously unreleased”
      I have known for long time Putin worked as taxi driver in St Petersburg, Maybe they mean it hasnt been shown on film, the interview, but some of the transcript I read long ago I think here on VT, or on RT or both.
      I thought he was proud of it, him being one of the regular people sort of thing. Translations sometimes mess up real meanings or its translated intentionally different from what is meant to promote a narrative.
      I knew he worked for the mayor who lost election, and now his future bleak as he lost that job, and he got a job as taxi driver to make ends meet.
      I bet he got offered his job in Moscow from an official he gave ride to, and they hit it off talking. Its fun talking to Belarus taxi drivers (I dont speak Russian my wife does the talking)

    • Let’s see. Putin drove a taxi. Reagan made bad movies. Obama organized stuff. Carter roasted peanuts. Just regular guys.

    • @Konehead, I lived in Belarus during 12 years. At that time it was BSSR (one of the Soviet Union Republics). I was forced to study Belorussian language and literature. Maybe not forced, but enabled. I was a son of a military pilot, and before the collapse of the USSR learning native republics languages wasn’t mandatory. Nevertheless, right now I’m thankful to my teachers. I know Belorussian language and literature. But I have to say – 99% of Belorussians speak Russian language. It is my so-called second motherland which I love. I often visit Belarus and feel calm and safe there. Belarus is a nice, tidy, wonderful tiny country. And I love Belorussians – very hardworking, smart people. If you are a good person, you got nothing to worry about. Their police is very polite (even if I don’t show my Russian passport). Btw, I was in Minsk in August and October. There was nothing to make me go ballistic.
      Best wishes!

  2. Hi Milhail
    You cannot cross Polish border at all anymore, same with Lithuania. Its been like that for awhile, USA./NATO really wants to do what they did to Ukraine to Belarus but Belarus wont have any of it – so borders very tight; no fascists, guns, or protests allowed. there is a US ambassador to Belarus, but Belarus wont allow her in country!
    Intimidating police with big soviet style hats, nobody smiles, if you say “have a pleasant day” they think you are crazy and it might get you thrown in jail just for that if you say it with bit of smirk….the police carry big sticks they like to smack people on the skull or back of legs. A very stick-beater culture.
    At same time, if you drive car get pulled over, they will talk to you for awhile until you make offer of 100 rubles or whatever is going rate considering offense and they will let you go.
    Nobody has guns at all is good part of being in Belarus, no homeless at all too, everyone has a flat of some kind to live in, hospitals and doctors free. Its 99.9% white people, all Russians too…. very strange to see coming from Seattle where its very diverse racially lots of E Indians, Chinese, Mexicans, Blacks, Vietnamese,,, nobody has problem with it in Seattle, a very non-racist city, although Indian women sure dont know how to drive haha..

  3. in Belarus I like to tell taxi drivers that Putin used to drive taxis toget a good laugh from them.
    Taxi drivers full of information on everything from going on – like how is coronavirus epidemic doing these days and whats going on with all the Iraqi Kurd migrants in town being taken to Polish border and back.
    One taxi driver was from the Donbass region of Ukraine:
    He said he was there when MH17 was shot down and there was NO missle fired. It really freaked him out all the dead bodies falling from sky he didnt really want to talk too much about it but I pressed him.
    He said a Ukrainian jet shot down the airliner,,,,this reinforces the VT scenario of what happened. There was no missle. This from eyewitness!…you heard it here from your unofficial VT correspondent behind the iron curtain haha…
    This guy was originally in village over run by the US funded Ukrainian fascist militias and he took off out of there to save his life (one of the million refugees who went into Russia from Ukraine in 2014-15) then down to Belarus and now driving a taxi there now…
    We like to freak out drivers tell them they sell weed in stores all over the USA and they cant believe it…its 14yrs in jail you get caught with it in Belarus!
    Anyways this guy from Donbass said he used to grow it there, he had three houses! Crazy…

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