Key dates in President Vladimir Putin's life: 1952 - 2020

Vladimir Putin has held power in Russia for 20 years with his current term as president due to end in 2024. Amid questions about his future after he announced a constitutional shake-up, here are key dates in his life and career.

Birth

October 7, 1952: Putin was born into a working-class family in Leningrad, now called Saint Petersburg.

(Photograph:AFP)

Security service head

July 1998: Named head of the FSB security service. It was the successor to the KGB which he joined in 1975.

(Photograph:AFP)

Boris Yeltsin's prime minister

August 1999: He was appointed Boris Yeltsin's prime minister and in October of that year ordered the launch of a second war to crush rebels in Chechnya.

(Photograph:AFP)

Became president

December 1999: He took over as president when Yeltsin resigned, and was officially elected in March 2000. He was re-elected four years later.

(Photograph:AFP)

Stepped down

May 2008: He stepped down at the end of his second term as constitutionally required and handed power to his prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, taking the post himself.

(Photograph:AFP)

Returns as President

Returns as president with Medvedev as his prime minister in May 2012

(Photograph:AFP)

Annexes Crimea

March 2014: Putin's Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea sparking the worst diplomatic crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

(Photograph:AFP)

Military support to Syria

September 2015: Putin began military support to Syria's Assad government much to the discontent of Western powers.

(Photograph:AFP)

Re-elected president

March 2018: Re-elected president for a fourth term ending in 2024.

(Photograph:AFP)

Mass protests

July 2019: Start of rolling mass protests calling for free and fair local elections.

(Photograph:AFP)

Proposes constitutional reforms

January 2020: Proposes constitutional reforms that prompted Medvedev and his government to resign.

(Photograph:AFP)