In Photos: 20 Years of Putin
The world was a very different place in 1999. We were introduced to Britney Spears. Bill Clinton was impeached. Napster was launched. And everyone worried about Y2K and the havoc it would soon wreak on dial-up internet and our giant PCs.
It was also the year Vladimir Putin was appointed as prime minister of Russia by then-President Boris Yeltsin on Aug. 9. Twenty years later, he's still here.
On the day the man was appointed as prime minister, here's a look back at the past 20 years of Putin – president, prime minister, leader of the motherland and shirtless athlete.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin pictured with the 46-year-old St. Petersburg native who would be named his eventual successor on Aug. 9.
Sergei Velichkin, Vladimir Rodionov / TASS
Sept. 24, 1999
At a press conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Putin came down hard on terrorism following a wave of apartment bombings that killed more than 300 Russians: “We will chase terrorists everywhere. If in an airport, then in the airport. And that’s it, case closed."
Putin gives an interview with the RTR television channel following the Kursk nuclear submarine tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of all 118 crew members on board.
Aug. 17, 2005
Game face on as Putin attends a missile launch during naval exercises in Russia's Arctic North.
Putin delivers his speech at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, where he heavily criticized the United States' "almost uncontained" use of force in international relations. The speech is considered to be the first milestone of the Russia-NATO confrontation.
Putin, always keen to cultivate his macho image, goes for a shirtless horseback ride in Kyzyl, southern Siberia.
On March 4, 2012, Putin was reinstated as president after a four-year term as prime minister following weeks of protests. Overwhelmed by the support he received at his inauguration, he wept. A spokesperson later explained he just had something in his eye.
Putin frolics in the snow with his dogs Baffi and Yuna.
Putin launches the iconic Olympic flame's relay across Russia ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS
Putin delivers a speech to accept the March 16 referendum for Crimea to become part of Russia, a move that has had long-lasting consequences for the country both at home and abroad.
Understand that Uncle Vova is in better shape than you.
Mikhail Klimentyev / TASS
Putin brings it down in Sochi like it ain't no thing.
No time for shirts when you're this good at fishing.
Russia welcomed thousands of fans from around the world for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which was widely hailed as a success and helped boost Russia's international image.
A rare shot of the president fully clothed as he goes on a Siberian hiking trip.
Putin enjoys a rare vodka with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Vladivostok. Following waves of Western sanctions, Russia's leader has turned his eye eastward in search of new partnerships.