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Declassified KGB Documents Reveal Russia's Putin Was a 'Conscientious and Disciplined' Spy

The young Putin also received 'congratulations from his seniors' in KGB 'for his well organised work and results,' as per the documents on display in Russia.


Updated:October 31, 2019, 8:12 PM IST
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Declassified KGB Documents Reveal Russia's Putin Was a 'Conscientious and Disciplined' Spy
Vladimir Putin | Image credit: AFP

Before Vladimir Putin became the President of Russia, he was part of the shadowy Soviet "secret police" and intelligence agency KGB, the scourge of the former USSR.

While not much is known about Putin's run as a Soviet spy, declassified KGB documents that have recently put on display in Russia reveal that Putin was a "conscientious and disciplined" spy at the beginning of his career.

"Comrade Putin... is constantly raising his ideological, political and professional level," said the one-page document released to Russian media, written while the intelligence agent turned politician was in his 20s.

Now 67, Putin worked for the secret service from the mid-1970s and was posted in Dresden, then East Germany, from 1985 to 1990, as Soviet power was crumbling. Many of his former colleagues currently hold important positions the Russian government. In the Kremlin, Putin has surrounded himself not just with former employees of the secret service KGB but also its successor FSB that remains a powerful agency.

The KGB profile is part of an exhibition at the Central Archive of Historical and Political Documents in Russia's second city of Saint Petersburg, featuring other declassified files.

The young Putin also received "congratulations from his seniors" in the organisation "for his well organised work and results," the document said.

In 2016, Putin - who has been in power as president or prime minister for two decades - revealed he had kept his USSR Communist Party membership card for sentimental reason.

(With inputs from AFP)

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