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Putin Filmmaker Says Lonely Leader Scared to Loosen Grip

Vladimir Putin was lonely and homesick after moving to Moscow to work in the Kremlin in 1996 and planned to return to St. Petersburg within a year, according to a friend, documentary filmmaker Igor Shadkhan.

“But then things began to happen very fast and suddenly Putin became president,” said Shadkhan, who’s been dubbed “court director” by the Russian media for his series of films about Putin and his former classmates over the past two decades.