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    From Ice Hockey Match to Taiga Walking: How Vladimir Putin Has Celebrated His Birthdays

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    With Vladimir Putin turning 68 on Wednesday, here's a brief insight into how the Russian president has celebrated his birthdays over the past twenty years of him being in the public limelight.  

    2000

    On 7 October 2000, Putin, who was born in 1952 in St. Petersburg, marked his first birthday as president in the town of Pavlovsk near 's northern capital, where he accepted congratulations from senior officials and prominent cultural figures.

    That day Putin also held a working meeting with then-World Bank President James Wolfensohn, and in the evening he attended great Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky's opera Mazepa at St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater.

    2001

    A year later, the president's 49th birthday started with Putin holding an emergency meeting with then-Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov, Director of the Federal Security Service Nikolai Patrushev, and the Russian 's Chief of the General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin.

    The gathering came after the US started its Operation Enduring Freedom in earlier on 7 October 2001, in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Later that day, Putin celebrated his birthday with his family at a presidential residence in Novo-Ogaryovo outside .

    2002

    The Russian president celebrated his 50th birthday in Chisinau, capital of the former Soviet republic of Moldova, where he participated in a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

    After the talks, the heads of the CIS countries were invited to a…

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