Thursday it will be 20 years ago that Vladimir Putin was first elected president in Russia.

It is Thursday, 20 years ago, that Vladimir Putin was first elected president in Russia, and he has since strengthened his grip on power in the vast expanse of the country.

It was not otherwise in the cards, that Putin should get as long a period as the leader of Russia.

When he in august 1999, was appointed prime minister, he was virtually an unknown name among the voters, writes the british newspaper The Independent.

– But instead, 20 years later, Putin is still here. In the course of these two decades, the young and the colourless KGB bureaucrat from St. Petersburg to put his mark on almost all areas of Russian society, writes the newspaper.

Putin had before his foray into politics made a career in the KGB, as was the Soviet union’s statssikkerhedstjeneste.

His path to the presidency was paved by Boris Yeltsin, who was Russia’s president at the end of the 1990s.

new year’s eve 1999, the at the time unpopular and alcoholic Yeltsin, he would resign.

instead, he declared prime minister Putin as “acting president” until a lynvalg in march 2000, Putin won.

In the first year in power, so mr Putin is up to western leaders, writes Al Jazeera.

He offered on his own initiative to contribute to the US military offensive in Afghanistan, and in 2000 he told the UNITED states’s then-president, Bill Clinton, that Russia should be a member of the forsvarsalliancen Nato.

But the western heads of government considered, according to Al Jazeera never Putin as an equal, and it changed him gradually.

The Independent also highlights the fact that Putin in his reign has moved through at least two idélogiske stages. The first with provestlige attitudes and reforms aimed at creating a free market economy lasted to around 2007.

Later took the ideas of “sovereignty” over, and Russia began to put distance on the western world. Most controversial in 2014, when Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea despite protests from the international community.

– People think that if you only have one president, so you have only one policy. This is not the case. Putin’s first term as president has nothing in common with the present, says Gleb Pavloskij, a political consultant who worked in the Kremlin in the first 12 years of Putin’s rule, to The Independent.

In Russia shares Putin the waters. Either people are sworn followers or despise him.

– He is Russia’s best leader in centuries, have the head of the state-sponsored media RT thus said according to Al Jazeera.

The 21-year-old Yegor Zhukov, that blogger critical of Russian politics, has the opposite view.

– the Regime never hesitates to destroy the lives of the people who are genuinely trying to benefit the motherland, he said in december at a court in Moscow, which had sentenced him to three years in prison for having participated in a protest against Putin.

/ritzau/