Early in World War II, his father served in the destruction battalion of the NKVD. He wished to emulate the intelligence officers portrayed in Soviet cinema.
After training, he worked in the Second Chief Directorate (counter-intelligence), before he was transferred to the First Chief Directorate, where he monitored foreigners and consular officials in Leningrad.
In May 1995, he organized the Saint Petersburg branch of the pro-government Our Home – Russia political party, the liberal party of power founded by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.
In 1995, he managed the legislative election campaign for that party, and from 1995 through June 1997, he was leader of its Saint Petersburg branch.
In 1996, Sobchak lost his bid for reelection in Saint Petersburg.
Putin was called to Moscow and in June 1996 became a Deputy Chief of the Presidential Property Management Department headed by Pavel Borodin. During his tenure, Putin was responsible for the foreign property of the state and organized transfer of the former assets of the Soviet Union and Communist Party to the Russian Federation.
On 30 August 2000, a criminal investigation (number 18/238278-95) was dropped in which Putin himself was one of suspects as a member of the Saint Petersburg city government.