President Vladimir Putin had considered becoming a taxi driver after failing to secure his boss’s victory in St. Petersburg's mayoral elections in the mid-1990s, he revealed in a documentary film aired on the eve of Russia’s presidential elections.
The current Russian president found himself out of a job when the late St. Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak lost the 1996 re-election. Putin, who is widely expected to win the presidential elections this Sunday, had served as the head of Sobchak’s campaign headquarters.
“I even thought ‘what should I do, maybe moonlight [driving] a taxi?’ I’m not kidding, what else was there to do? I had two small children,” the Russian president said in the second instalment of the “Putin” documentary, posted on Russian social media.
In the film's first instalment, Putin revealed that his paternal grandfather had worked as a cook for both Lenin and Stalin. The Russian president also said that he had ordered the downing of a passenger aircraft flying towards the 2014 Sochi Olympics before learning it was a false alarm.
Among the revelations in the second two-hour film, Putin said he operated under the “Plavun” (“Swimmer”) code name during his days at the KGB foreign intelligence academy, and that he used to go to bed with a pump-action shotgun at his dacha in St. Petersburg.
“These were dangerous times. It was better to be safe than sorry,” Putin told his election campaign spokesman Andrei Kondrashov in the interview.