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
"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'."
"Putin is slouching; looking like that bored schoolboy in the back of the classroom."
"The clock has moved back to the 1980s."
—Alexander Lebedev on U.S.-Russian relations under Putin
"Slouching in a fancy chair in front of a dozen reporters, Putin squirmed and rambled. And rambled and rambled. He was a rainbow of emotion: Serious! angry! bemused! flustered! confused! So confused... Gone was the old Putin, the one who loves these kinds of press events. 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... That Putin was not the Putin we saw today. Today's Putin was nervous, angry, cornered, and paranoid, periodically illuminated by flashes of his own righteousness. 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"