He’s surrounded by conspiracy theories
Don’t let Putin’s love for animals fool you, as most know by now that he has a dark side. A prime example? Many believe that he was involved with the deadly Russian apartment bombings in 1999 – a series of explosions that hit four buildings in major cities across Russia, killing more than 300 people and instilling a sense of fear across the country.
Ironically, it was these tragic attacks that boosted Putin’s political career. The Russian apartment bombings were largely attributed to Chechen terrorism, and Putin (then a political newcomer) ordered the bombing of parts of Checnya and took a relentless approach to the attacks, earning the support of citizens and becoming President of Russia mere months later.
However, not everybody is convinced. The press has expressed belief that Putin and the Russian government were behind the deadly attacks in order to get one of their own into power – particularly US journalist David Satter. He was expelled from Russia by the government in 2013 after publishing works regarding his criticism of the Russian government and Putin’s rise to power.