Vladimir Petrunin graduated from the Moscow Choreography School (there he was a student of Alekasndr Rudenko) in 1967. In the same year he joined the troupe of the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre. In 1981 to 1985, he was a soloist of the Leningrad Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet (now the Mariinsky Theatre). His repertoire included parts of Prince Siegfried (The Swan Lake), Basilio (Don Quixote), Duke Albrecht (Giselle, ou les Wilis), Solor (La Bayadère), James (La Sylphide), Phoebus (Notre Dame De Paris) and the Soloist (Paquita).
In 1983, Vladimir Petrunin was granted the title of Distinguished Artist of the RSFSR, and in 1992, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation. In 1992 to 1993, he gave classes in Lisbon, and in 1996, he started to give classes at the Kasatkina and Vasilev Classical Ballet Theatre. In March 2016, he became a coach for the ballet troupe of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.