The Top 10 Differences Between Putin and Obama

Many consider Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama to be the two most powerful men on the planet. There are certainly enough reasons for that to be true. They both represent two of the world’s super-powers, they both bear immense responsibility and they both greatly influence what happens on the social and political international stage. While there are certainly many similarities between them as heads of state and political figures, the Russian and the American are quite different individuals. Here is the top 10 difference between Putin and Obama:


Putin VS Obama


1) Obama Plays Basketball 

Such important figures must keep a healthy lifestyle and these two presidents like to keep in shape. That’s where the similarities end though. Barack Obama is known to be a fan of both baseball and football, an avid supporter of the Chicago White Sox and, over all, the kind of guy that is in touch with the world of sports. What he plays best though is basketball. Obama never shied away from the camera as he practiced his jump shots, competing for one cause or the other. And why wouldn’t he. In his youth, the American president went all the way to the nationals with his high school team.

2) Putin Practices Judo

It is only fitting that if Obama enjoys sports that originated in the U.S. the most, Putin would practice the ones closer to his home of Russia. The Russian has the image of an athletic, active leader. Putin has proven to have some equestrian skills, he likes fishing and to play ice hockey, but the sport in which he is most skilled is Judo. The Russian president has a black belt in this martial art and has competed at a high level in his youth.

3) Putin Exercises Discretion When It Comes To Religious Beliefs

Vladimir Putin was born in Sankt Petersburg in 1952. His father was a communist through and through that went o great lengths for the good of the party. As a communist, the father had atheistic beliefs that were in a deep contrast with his mother’s faith in the Orthodox religion. While Putin did not initially take after his mother, certain events in the early 1990’s have shifted his outlook on Russia’s predominant religion. To this day, he remains discreet when it comes to expressing his religious views. 

4) Obama Is More Vocal Of His Christianity 

Born in Hawaii in 1961, Barack Obama grew up in a household devoid of devout Christians. Just like Putin’s, Obama’s father was also an atheist. He describes his mother though as being spiritual, not necessarily religious. Also just like the Russian president, Obama claimed to have found religion later in life but unlike Putin, Barack Obama tends to be more vocal about his beliefs.

5) Obama Can Speak Indonesian

Obama’s parents separated early in his life and his mother remarried. The American president’s step father was Indonesian, a geography major at the time Barack’s mother met him in Hawaii. After finishing his studies, the step-father went back to his home country, followed soon by his new family. Only a child at the time, Obama lived in one of the richer neighborhoods in Jakarta and attended school there for four years. To this day he is able to speak basic Indonesian.

6) Putin Is Fluent In German

Vladimir Putin’s childhood was less exotic in locations. However, later in life, he lived in East Germany from 1985 up to 1990 with his wife and two children. More than enough time for the Russian president to work on his language skills. Now, Putin is known to speak fluent German.

7) Putin Was A KGB Agent

The reason for Putin’s long stay in East Germany had all to do with his job at that moment. A KGB agent starting from 1975, the now president on the Russian Federation posed as a translator in the city of Dresden. Although he admitted it to being a tough choice to make, Putin left his spy days behind him in 1991.

8) Obama Was A Civil Rights Attorney 

Before entering the world of politics, Barack Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, at first as a lecturer, than as a senior-lecturer for twelve years. For another three years he was an associate in a law firm that handled civil rights litigation.

9) Obama Is A Good Communicator

These two figures come from countries that are very different, both from a cultural stand point but also a political one. As the president of a country that holds democracy to a high standard, Obama follows the lead of heads of state before him and has a very open policy when it comes to policies being implemented inside the U.S.. This also applies to his speech on the international stage, where the American keeps good relations with the E.U.

10) Putin Does Not Bend Easily 

Unlike the U.S., the Russian Federation had recently been affected by communism and by the damage dictatorships entail. The notion of democracy is still in its infancy and this fact is mirrored in president Putin’s public image, speech and strategy. While Russia is economically involved in Europe, Vladimir Putin often gives the impression that the relationship between his country and the rest of the world is not one of cooperation.

The Top 10 difference between Putin and Obama shows that despite the burden and power these two share, they are also individuals with different backgrounds, personalities and ideas, notions that are hard to unveil from their political personas.