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In 1970, Vladimir Putin was admitted to law department at Leningrad State University.
“We had a class of 100 people, and only 10 of them entered immediately after high school, the rest had already completed military service.
He was allowed to join the Young Pioneers organisation, and almost immediately became the head of a Pioneer detachment in his class.
“It became clear that street smarts were not enough, so I began doing sports.
So for us, the high-school graduates, only one out of 40 was admitted.
I got four out of five for the essay, but top marks for everything else, so I passed.” “When I began studying at the university, new goals and new values emerged.
“We lived simply - cabbage soup, cutlets, pancakes, but on Sundays and holidays my Mom would bake very delicious stuffed buns [pirozhki] with cabbage, meat and rice, and curd tarts [vatrushki],” Mr Putin says.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mr Putin studied at KGB School No. Even before I finished high school, I wanted to work in intelligence.His teacher, Vera Gurevich, recalls, “In the fifth grade, he still hadn’t found himself yet, but I could feel the potential, the energy and the character in him.I saw that he had a great deal of interest in language; he picked it up easily. I thought, something good will come of this boy, so I decided to give him more attention, to distract him from the boys on the streets.” Until the sixth grade, Vladimir Putin was not very interested in studying, but his teacher Vera Gurevich saw that he could do better and get higher grades.But even that was not enough for maintaining my status, so to speak, for very long.I realised that I also needed to study well,” Vladimir Putin says.