Young Putin was 'sneaky' boy who would 'pull out kids' hair in a fight', former school pals and teachers claim | The SunJune 26, 2022
VLADIMIR Putin would "fight to the end" during scraps at school as a child, his former classmates and teachers claim.
The Russian tyrant was branded "sneaky" and a "problem causer" by those who knew him in his younger years – decades before he waged war in Ukraine.
According to his former pals, Putin would terrorise his school in Leningrad’s Dzerzhinsky district and would "get into a frenzy" should anyone pick a fight with him.
His newly qualified form teacher, 26-year-old Tamara Chizova, said she was driven to despair by the "disorganised" youngster who would "definitely cause problems", reports The Times.
With a rebellious streak in him, his childhood best friend Viktor Borisenko recalled Putin was the first to join a fight when one broke out.
He said: "He could get into a fight with anyone. He had no fear.
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"It never occurred to him that the other boy was stronger and might beat him up.
"If some hulking guy offended him, he would jump straight at him — scratch him, bite him, pull out clumps of his hair.
"He wasn’t the strongest in our class, but in a fight he could beat anyone because he would get into a frenzy and fight to the end."
The Russian leader grew up in a grubby cockroach-infested apartment, shared with two other families – lacking both heating and a bathroom.
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Rats also ravaged the yard, and Putin would often chase them with sticks – until one day a large one he had cornered attacked him.
He later said: "No one should be cornered. No one should be put in a situation where they have no way out.”
Despite this, Putin later said he never felt "disadvantaged or miserable" growing up.
After earning a bad reputation at elementary school, Putin moved to secondary school at the age of 12 in 1965.
With that came a new form tutor, Vera Gurevich, who was tough but like the youngster for his excellent memory and speed.
Putin then picked up sambo, a form of mixed martial arts and his marks improved dramatically as he became a member of the Pioneers, the Communist Party’s primary organisation.
After ditching desires to be an airline pilot, at 16 he made inquiries to find out what it would take to join the KBG.
He was told join the Law Faculty at Leningrad State University, which he eventually did just shy of his 18th birthday in September 1970.
By 1975, Putin was accepted into the KBG as a junior lieutenant and spent years working his way through the ranks until 1990.
During this time, he met his first girlfriend – medical student Lyudmila Khmarina, who his parents loved.
But by 1980, they had split up and Putin had eyes for another woman – 22-year-old Aeroflot flight attendant Lyudmila Shkrebneva.
She was not taken in, however, describing Putin as "poorly dressed".
Lyudmila recalled: "He looked very unprepossessing. I wouldn’t have paid any attention to him on the street."
Despite first impressions, the pair exchanged numbers and they met whenever Lyudmila was in Leningrad.
The relationship was a tumultuous one, however, with Putin's parents not approving and his traditional views on a woman's role impeding.
At a party the following year, Putin was furious as Lyudmila danced the night away.
She said: "Apparently I was too uninhibited. It was made clear to me that any further relationship was impossible."
After two weeks, they got back together – but Putin's temper and faults continued.
She once recalled waiting for him at a metro station, reports The Times.
Lyudmila said: "Fifteen minutes, you can accept. Even half an hour.
"But when it’s been an hour and he’s not there, you are just crying from the hurt.
"After an hour and a half, you feel nothing any more. All your emotions are spent. This happened all the time."
To make matters worse, Putin hid his job in the KGB from Lyudmila for 18 months – leading her to believe he worked for the police.
Despite her mistrust, Lyudmila married Putin in 1983 – describing their year together as "total harmony".
But his bad habits crept back in, as he started returning home from work late.
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She said: "I understood it was not [his superiors] who kept him working late. It was himself."
Eventually, the pair divorced in 2013 as Lyudmila became drained by Putin's lifestyle, saying she was "crushed" by not being able to talk to her pals about the problems she faced.
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