A new article in Newsweek provides quite a bit of insight into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daily routine and private life.
The writer, Ben Judah, spent three years interviewing those close to Putin for his book “Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin.”
Judah’s insights into Putin’s life come from former prime ministers, current ministers, regional governors, senior bureaucrats, close advisers, and personal aides to the president.
Here’s what he learned:
Putin sleeps in. He wakes up late in the morning and eats his first meal at about noon. He always has cottage cheese with his breakfast, and he also likes quails’ eggs and fruit juice.
He does “much of Russia’s thinking” in a pool. Putin always goes for a swim after breakfast because he likes to get alone time in the water. He wears goggles and swims in a front crawl.
He does a daily “cleanse.” He works out after his swim, preferring weights over cardio in the gym, and then immerses himself into both hot and cold baths.
He doesn’t like the internet. His offices don’t have TVs and he uses “only the most secure technologies” to communicate, which to Putin means paper and fixed-line, Soviet-era telephones. Putin rarely uses the internet because he “finds the screens within screens and the bars building up with messages confusing.”
He’s high maintenance. When he leaves Russia, Putin ships in Russian cooks, cleaners, and waitresses for his trip. When he stays in hotels, his team removes their sheets and toiletries and replaces them with Kremlin-approved items under anti-contamination seals. He doesn’t eat any foreign food that hasn’t been cleared by the Kremlin.
He doesn’t like spending time in the Kremlin. Putin lives in a palace outside Moscow because he dislikes the traffic, pollution, and “human congestion” of the city. He doesn’t like visiting the Kremlin either, and prefers to work at his estate.
His inner circle calls him “Tsar.” They used to call him “Boss.”
He doesn’t have much of a personal life. Putin’s parents are dead and he and his wife divorced. He has two daughters, but they don’t live in Russia. He reportedly has women — models, photographers, and gymnasts — “come to him at night,” but these are just rumours. Putin does, however, take comfort in his canine companion, a black Lab.
His life is monotonous, but he fancies himself a hard worker. Putin claims he “works harder than any leader since Stalin.”
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