An interesting and revealing moment from a recent marathon nation-wide phone-in Q+A with the public.
Here is a full article about the phone-in, with more video excerpts.
Andrey Kondrashov: Can you tell us, when did you start believing in God?
Putin: That's very intimate question. You know, it's very hard to speak about it in public. But I think that every person is born with a belief in God. In his soul. He is born with it.
But different people start to understand it at different times and in different circumstances. Anyway, for example during WWII, when even the biggest and downright atheists stood up in the trenches and attacked, each of them thought about this, I'm sure. There are people who understand this without an extreme situation.
But when a person finds himself in an extreme situation, almost everyone thinks about it.
Kirill Kleimenov: Vladimir Vladimirovich, what does one need to sacrifice, in order to become president?
Putin: Sacrifice? Well, one's personal life. It's inevitable. However, there is a very large compensation. It's all compensated by realizing that you do really important, essential, unique work, aimed at improving the welfare of millions of people and strengthening the most important thing in the life of a person: the Motherland.