Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian statesman and former intelligence officer serving as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 2000 until 2008. He was Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 until the beginning of his first presidency in 2000, and again between presidencies from 2008 until 2012. During his first term as Prime Minister, he served as Acting President of Russia due to the resignation of President Boris Yeltsin.
In September 2011, after presidential terms were extended from four to six years, Putin announced he would seek a third term as president. He won the March 2012 presidential election with 64% of the vote, a result which aligned with pre-election polling. Putin gained 76% of the March 2018 presidential vote and was re-elected for a six-year term that will end in 2024.
Human rights organizations and activists have accused Putin of persecuting political critics and activists, as well as ordering them tortured or assassinated; he has rejected accusations of human rights abuses. Officials of the United States government have accused him of leading an interference program against Hillary Clinton in support of Donald Trump during the U.S. presidential election in 2016, which both Trump and Putin have frequently denied and criticized. Putin has had domestic approval ratings above 60% since taking office in 1999.