Baaghi TV: Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed that he was forced to work as a taxi driver during the early 1990s given the fall of the Soviet Union.
In a video clip aired by a Russian broadcasting channel, Putin was seen confessing that the collapse of the Soviet Union had financially crippled him to the point that he had to take to taxi driving to earn his livelihood.
The video clip was featured as a teaser for the upcoming movie “Russia. Recent History”. Putin emphasized that the collapse of the Soviet Union was indeed the fall of Russia and he was deeply saddened to reminisce those days. He labelled it as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.”
During that time the USSR scattered into 15 republics left countless Russians penniless forcing them to earn additional money in order to survive. Even those who were previously employed in well-to-do jobs related to medicine or science, had to make a living by doing menial jobs.
The economic crisis at that time became an inherent portion of Russia’s near history. It was rare to find any authorized taxis in Russia during the crisis period and anyone who got their hands on a vehicle started offering rides to passengers in order to make money. Such unlicensed taxi drivers were referred to as “bombila.”
Previously, Putin had mentioned that he considered becoming a taxi driver to earn his bread and butter that time along, however he never claimed to have taken fares permanently.
Putin had served as a KGB agent while he was in East Germany when the USSR collapsed. He returned to Russia in 1990 where became ex-mayor of St. Petersburg as mentioned in his biography. During his service there, he teamed up with Anatoly Sobchak. Later in 1996 when Sobchak lost a gubernatorial race, Putin became worried he would have to resign and search for another job if the position of chief of staff held by Sobchak would be closed. It was then that he considered a job as a taxi driver.
In a documentary which aired in 2018, his exact words regarding the situation were “I even thought, ‘what I’m going to do, maybe work in a taxi?’ I’m not kidding, there was not much else to do. I had two small children.”
Concluding his statement, Putin said, “Therefore, when I was offered to move to Moscow and take up legal affairs in the presidential administration, I took the offer and moved.”
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