Vladimir Putin reveals he worked as a taxi driver in 1990s to earn extra money

Russian president admits taking low-paid job as the USSR collapsed

Vladimir Putin has revealed he once worked as a taxi driver to earn money following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In a documentary aired on Sunday, the Russian president, said by critics to be now worth $200bn (£150bn), admitted he took the driving job to make ends meet.

“Sometimes I had to earn extra money... by car, as a private driver. It’s unpleasant to talk about to be honest, but unfortunately that was the case,” the RIA state news agency reported Mr Putin as saying.

He gave no further details about where and when he drove the taxi, but he had returned to his native St Petersburg at the time of the USSR’s collapse. Previously, he had worked for the KGB in East Germany.

The programme, Russia: Latest History, also revealed Mr Putin’s continuing upset at the disintegration of the USSR, which spanned 15 republics with Russia at its political centre from the 1920s until its fall.

Mr Putin said he viewed the fall of the Soviet Union as a “disintegration of historical Russia”.

His comments come amid growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, with international observers fearing that Russia may attempt to invade its ex-Soviet neighbour.

There have been heavy troop build-ups on both sides of the border in recent weeks, with the West saying it would help Ukraine if there was any kind of military action.

The Kremlin denies any plans to invade, but Russia has warned it will not accept the West’s influence extending to Ukraine.

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