Vladimir Putin was born in Leningrad on October 7, 1952.
In 1975, he graduated with a degree in law from Leningrad State University. He later earned a Ph.D. degree in economics.
After graduation, Mr. Putin was assigned to work in the KGB. From 1985 to 1990, he worked in East Germany.
In 1990, he became assistant to the rector of Leningrad State University responsible for international affairs.
His next position was an advisor to the chairman of the Leningrad City Council.
In June 1991, he became chairman of the St. Petersburg City Councilĺs International Relations Committee and, starting with 1994, he combined this post with the position of First Deputy Chairman of the St. Petersburg City Government (First Deputy Mayor).
In August 1996, he was appointed deputy head of the Presidentĺs Administrative Directorate (Property Management Directorate).
In March 1997, he became deputy head of the Executive Office of the President (Presidential Administration) and head of the Central Supervision and Inspections Directorate.
In May 1998, he was promoted to first deputy head of the Presidential Administration.
In July 1998, he was appointed director of the Federal Security Service and, as of March 1999, he combined this position with that of Secretary of the Security Council.
In August 1999, he was appointed Prime Minister.
On December 31, 1999, he became acting President.
On March 26, 2000, he was elected President of Russia and was inaugurated as president on May 7, 2000.
On March 14, 2004, he was elected President of Russia for the second term.
Since May 8, 2008, Vladimir Putin is a Prime Minister of Russia.
Married to Lyudmila Putina. They have two daughters: Maria (1985), Katerina (1986).
Mr Yeltsin was born on February 1, 1931, in Sverdlovsk Region.
After graduating from the Urals Polytechnic Institute in 1955, Mr Yeltsin worked for 30 years in the Sverdlovsk Region, eventually becoming first secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the Soviet Communist Party.
Mr Yeltsin was then transferred to Moscow, where he headed the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee's construction department. He became secretary of the Central Committee, and then first secretary of the Moscow City Communist Party Committee.
In 1987, Mr Yeltsin was dismissed from his posts and returned to the political scene only in March 1989, when he won more than 80 percent of the vote in the country's first democratic elections and was elected a Soviet people's deputy. In 1990, he was elected chairman of the Russian Supreme Council and that same year declared that he was leaving the Communist Party.
On 12 June, 1991, Mr Yeltsin was elected first president of the Russian Federation in a national election, winning more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round.
Mr Yeltsin was re-elected president on July 3, 1996, winning almost 54 percent of the vote in the second round.
On December 31, 1999, Mr Yeltsin signed a decree announcing that he was stepping down from his post as president.
Boris Yeltsin died on April 23, 2007 of a heart attack.