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Vladimir Putin says he drove cab to make ends meet after Soviet fall

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the fall of the Soviet Union means the end of “historic Russia,” pointing out that he was driving a taxi for a living following the collapse of the USSR.

Putin, a former KGB security agent for the Soviet Union, who once lamented the collapse of the USSR, said the dissolution over the past three decades was still a “massive” catastrophe.
The remarks, reported by state news agency RIA Novosti on Sunday, have been excerpts from Channel One’s upcoming film, “Russia. Recent History”.

“So what is the collapse of the Soviet Union? This is a historic collapse of Russia under the name of the Soviet Union,” the Russian leader was quoted as saying.
A faithful servant of the Soviet Union, Putin was devastated when he split up, once calling the fall a “great catastrophe of the 20th century”.

Putin is sensitive to the growing demand for Western troops in the former Soviet Union and Russia this week demanded that NATO officially annul its 2008 decision to open its door to Georgia and Ukraine.

The dissolution of the Union led to a period of massive economic instability that plunged many into poverty, as the newly independent Russia shifted from communism to ruin.

RIA-Novosti, reporting on excerpts from the documentary, said Putin had revealed that he used to work as a taxi driver to increase his salary.

Sometimes I had to earn extra money, ”said Putin.

“I mean, get some extra money on the car, as an independent driver. It’s not fun to be honest but, unfortunately, it did.”

Russia was the seat of the Soviet Union that grew to include 15 republics from the Baltic West to Central Asia.

In 1991, because of economic problems, the Soviet Union dissolved and Russia became an independent state.

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