Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia, is not the world’s tallest politician. Putin’s height has never been officially revealed, leading to plenty of online speculation.
The best guess that we have, based on our research, is that the unofficial Vladimir Putin height is actually 5 feet and 7 inches tall – although other estimates have gone as low as 5’2″ and as high as 5’9″.
Putin’s lack of stature leaves him at a distinct disadvantage when compared to other world leaders, who tend to be taller than average. US President Barack Obama, for example, is 6’1″ tall and George W Bush, who stands next to Putin in the picture, is 5’11” tall. He does have the distinction of being taller than French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi (both reportedly 5’5″) and, perhaps most importantly, he’s a good couple of inches taller than Russia’s President, Dmitry Medvedev – the official Medvedev height has also never been revealed, but we believe it to be 5’4″.
Putin has gone to great lengths to keep his height secret from the public eye. Back in 2000, when he was running for President for the first time, for example, even the Washington Times remarked on the issue of his height, noting that “television coverage almost never shows the 5-foot 7-inch acting president standing next to a taller man”. Amusingly, there has also been tongue in cheek speculation about whether Putin’s lack of stature – something he shared with Napoleon – has been a factor in Russia’s growing militarism.
Putin certainly doesn’t seem to be hampered by his lack of height (or for that matter, his increasing lack of hair) and it doesn’t really seem to have been an issue with the Russian public. Putin has managed to portray himself in the Russian media as an action man, complete with pictures of Putin fishing and riding horses outdoors, videos of Putin judo training sessions, and even shots of Putin in a Formula 1 racing car.
He also doesn’t seem to have found being short a problem when attracting ladies. There are many rumours flying around Russia, for example, about whether Putin is having a romance with Russian gymnast turned MP Alina Kabaeva – rumours that have gone so far as to speculate that she is the mother of his child.
And of course, as we know, the Putin height issue has certainly had no bearing on his ability to become and remain Russia’s most powerful man. His eight year stint as President was quickly followed by appointment as Prime Minister, and there is still much media speculation about whether he will become Russia’s President again at the next Presidential election, or whether he will continue to lead Russia as its Prime Minister.