Putin’s Former High School Teacher, Now Living in Israel, Says Russian President Lavished Her With Gifts
The Russian president was so grateful to his former German teacher that he bought her an apartment in Tel Aviv, and filled it with appliances.
Meet Mina Yuditskaya, Vladimir Putin’s former high-school teacher, who now lives in Tel Aviv in an apartment her former student, the Russian president, bought for her.
In the late 1960s Mina Yuditskaya Berliner was a German teacher in High School #281 in Saint Petersburg, then Leningrad. Between 1967 and 1968, among her numerous students, there was a quiet and serious teen, who cut classes but always aced tests. After graduation he went his own way and Yuditskaya made aliyah, not imagining that their paths will cross again – until she saw him on television.
It was in the late 1990s. Her former student was standing next to then-Russian president Boris Yeltsin, and was described as the head of Russia’s security service. Her former student’s name is Vladimir Putin, and in the 15 years that have passed since Yuditskaya saw him, the once bashful youngster became one of the world’s most powerful and controversial figures.
Yuditskaya probably couldn’t foresee her student’s fate when he first came back into her life on the screen of her television set. She also almost certainty didn’t anticipate that she will eventually get to meet him in person, and the two would even go on to form an unusual bond.
The Russian president, currently being chastized over Russia’s annexation of Crimea, met his former teacher during his visit to Israel in 2005. According to her, he even bought her the apartment she currently lives in at the heart of Tel Aviv.
During the interview conducted in her apartment, Yuditskaya, now 93, had trouble recalling the grades she gave 15-year-old Vladimir, but she has not forgotten the peculiar chain of events that led to her receiving a new apartment from the Russian leader.
“I don’t really remember what grades he had in high-school, but they weren’t F’s – that’s for sure,” she said. “He was disciplined but was never chatty. In that school most of the students were interested in chemistry, but he eventually went to law school”.
How did you get back in touch?
“When I heard he was coming to Israel in April 2005, I went to the Russian consulate and said that I just want the chance to look at him. I left my contact information with them, and when he came they sent a cab for me. Then I got on a bus with World War II veterans, who were going to meet with him, and we were taken to Jerusalem. When we arrived to his hotel, I was last out of the cab. I was walking into the lobby
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