Putin's baptismal cross
by Natalia Gevorkian, Andrei Kolesnikov
Kommersant, 10 March 2000
[The following excerpt comes from a long first-page interview in which Acting President Vladimir Putin talked about the course of his life, from childhood through KGB activity to work in various state positions in post-soviet Russia.]
--Incidentally, have you been baptized?
--Yes. At one time an old woman lived with us in a communal apartment in Leningrad, Baba Anya. And so when I was born she and Mama together took me and baptized me, keeping it secret from my father because he was a party member and secretary of the party organization at his shop.
--But your mother attended church?
--Yes, of course. Four years before my mother died I went to Israel. Mama then gave to me the baptismal cross to sanctify it at the tomb of the Lord. I took it and, so as not to lose it I wore it. From that time on I have never taken it off. . . . (tr. by PDS)