Vladimir Putin is the current president of Russia since May 7th, 2012, serving his third actual term in the office.
Terms of officeEdit
He previously served as president from 2000 to 2008, and as the Prime Minister between 1999 and 2000 and 2008 and 2012. Vladimir Putin became the president of Russia in 1999. His two terms as the President expired on May 7, 2008, Dmitry Medvedev replacing him as the President of the country. Vladimir Putin took the President's duties on Dec 31st 1999 after then-acting President Boris Yeltsin publicly resigned, and then won the Russian presidential election in 2000. He was re-elected for a second term in 2004, which expired on May 7, 2008. In the 2004 Presidential election, he was backed by the United Russia, which is the largest political party in the country.
As Russian law doesn't limit the number of terms a president can run for (only having a limit for two consecutive terms), Vladimir Putin was able to run for his third term in 2012, winning the election with a majority of votes. The results of the election are disputed by the opposition, which claims Putin's victory is a result of massive electoral fraud.
Economics law and orderEdit
Putin's administration, as his supporters claim, helped greatly in restoring law and order and stabilising the Russian economics, which were severely damaged after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the 1998 economical crisis. During his rule it is further claimed, standard of living in the country increased and the economy significantly developed. Those who suggest that the economy is less healthy than Russians want us to believe may face difficulties.
His detractors, on the other hand, say that Putin's presidency ended up further criminalizing the Russian economics and increasing the gap between the rich and the poor, as well as massively spreading corruption.
Loss of freedomEdit
But among intellectuals and advocates of a democratic Russia in the Western mode, a gnawing concern is arising that the relative freedom from state surveillance and restriction that citizens have relished in the last decade may be drawing to a close. Supplanting it is a resurgent government obsession with internal security and threats from abroad -- a phenomenon that they say has set off a limited but growing crackdown on supposed challenges to the state.
The evidence itself is scattered. It ranges from a string of arrests of Russian scholars, to the revival of old curbs on international scientific cooperation, to the seeming harassment of some political critics and dissidents, to a growing conviction among some intellectuals that their telephones are again being tapped and their e-mail read.
As much as any crackdown, what unsettles them is the failure of President Vladimir V. Putin, himself a product of the state security machine, to restrain or even speak out against it. 
Putin stopped popular election of Russian governors in 2004 and arranged indirect control of Russian parliamentary elections.
- Some Russians Are Alarmed At Tighter Grip Under Putin
- Stand Up to Putin Washington Post article