How Vladimir Putin took over the world - Deepstash
How Vladimir Putin took over the world

How Vladimir Putin took over the world

Curated from: How to Take Over the World

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Putin's early days

Putin's early days

At age 43 Putin was an ex-KGB employee, with no career prospects. 4 years later he was the ruler of Russia. He had humble beginnings:

  • He grew up in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, in a poor family living in one room in a shared apartment.
  • He was a poor student, bullied by his school for his short stature. He takes on judo to get disciplined & fight back.
  • Inspired by spy movies he enrols to the local university where he studies law.
  • After graduation he is admitted to the KGB, but spends 9 years on boring desk jobs.
  • He is finally detached to Germany where he experiences the fall of USSR.


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Putin's Rise to Power

Putin's Rise to Power

It's not clear how Putin, a retired agent got a job at Kremlin. But once he got there he keeps getting promoted.

  • He goes from president's property management to the head of secret services.
  • He reforms the service and thus wins the respect of Boris Yeltsin. 
  • When the muslim Chechens revolt Putin becomes the face of the harsh Russian response.
  • Wanting to make sure he is not investigated Yeltsin nominates Putin as his successor on 1999's New years Eve TV presidential address.
  • Putin acts as president for 4 months, acting though on Chechenia and winning his election in a land-slide.  


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Never show weakness

Never show weakness

From an early age Putin learned to never show weakness. He became a bully to stop being bullied in school. Later in life, he had to protect the KGB Dresden office before being sacked by the mob. With a calm voice he announced to the people gather outside he and his colleagues will machine gun everyone who steps in. Nobody came.

The lesson he took to heart is that people are tribal. They are driven by fear and the only way to get your way is to appear strong. 


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Truth does not matter ...

Truth does not matter ...

... as long as you give people reasons to believe you. Sure he:

  • faked terrorist attacks so he can justify a strong military response
  • took control of the media and killed his opponents.

But his popularity soared non-the-less. Because the average Russian wanted to believe they were the citizens of a super power. A super power whose guardian was Putin.

The truth is irrelevant as long as the people want to believe the lie. If your lies makes people feel good about themselves, the facts are irrelevant. 


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Information asymmetry is power

Know everything about everyone. Hide anything about you. This information asymmetry is power.

In the early 2000, when faced with negative press he seized most the media company. Because the owners were corrupt. They were, but so was everyone in the chaotic anarchic period. But Putin had build a portfolio of accusations against everyone (he was a KGB agent after-all) and used his information as a weapon to go against any enemy. 


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Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.


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