Quotes: Vladimir Putin

By Putin

“Give me twenty years, and you will not recognize Russia.”
—echoing Piotr Stolypin, Prime Minister to Tsar Nicholas II

A questioner: Who rules Russia when you and the President sleep?
Putin: We take turns sleeping.
—From a live television call-in show in 2010

Larry King: What happened to the submarine RFS Kursk?
Putin: It sunk.
—From Larry King's show in 2009

"There is no such thing as a former KGB man."
Putin, in response to Sergei Stepashin calling himself "a former KGB officer"

"I am the wealthiest man, not just in Europe, but in the whole world. I collect emotions. I am wealthy in that the people of Russia have twice entrusted me with the leadership of a great nation such as Russia — I believe that is my greatest wealth."
Putin on his (un)reported net worth

"It's clear that from 1924 to 1953, the country led by Stalin changed fundamentally... industrialization certainly did take place. We won the Great Patriotic War. And whatever anyone may say, victory was achieved. Even when we consider the losses, no one now can throw stones at those who planned and led this victory."
—On the legacy of Joseph Stalin

On Putin

"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy."

"I looked into his eyes and saw three letters: a 'K', a 'G', and a 'B'."
John McCain

"As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border."

"Putin is slouching; looking like that bored schoolboy in the back of the classroom."

"In the new war of beliefs, Putin is saying, it is Russia that is on God’s side. The West is Gomorrah."
Pat Buchanan

"The clock has moved back to the 1980s."
Alexander Lebedev on U.S.-Russian relations under Putin

"The imperial horn has been sounded. But we are a Third World kleptocracy hiding behind imperial symbols. There are no resources for a true imperial revival."
—Columnist Stanislav Belkovsky

"He'd come a long way from the painfully awkward gray FSB officer on Larry King, a year into his tenure. He had grown to become the master of public speaking... Here was an authoritarian dancing uncomfortably in his new dictator shoes, squirming in his throne."
Julia Ioffe, "Putin's Press Conference Proved Merkel Right: He's Nuts"