German officials discovered an identification card belonging to Russian President Vladimir Putin, tagging him as a member of the defunct East German secret police.
Germany’s Bild newspaper reported Monday that the card was found in the archives of Germany’s intelligence service in Dresden, where the Kremlin leader served as KGB officer under the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
Bild disseminated a photo of the ID card for Major Vladimir Putin, signed and validated with stamps until the end of 1989, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) noted.
Als KGB-Spion in Dresden – Putins geheimer Stasi-Ausweis entdeckt https://t.co/WukVOInnYU
— BILD (@BILD) December 10, 2018
Citing the Bild article, Crime Russia reported:
Putin was the Stasi’s employee during the existence of the German Democratic Republic. The identification document has been found in the archives department of the directorate of the intelligence service in Dresden. It was given to him on December 31, 1985, and renewed once every three months until late 1989. Putin’s signature is present in the document.
German officials reportedly found the document among the files on “cadres and education” in the archives of the now defunct East Germany’s State Security Service, known as the Stasi.
Konrad Felber, the chief of the Dresden branch of the authority overseeing the Stasi archives, indicated that the “the ID would have enabled Putin to enter and leave Stasi offices unhindered and easily pass through security checkpoints of the Stasi police force,” RFE/RL revealed.
“It would have made recruiting agents easier because Putin wouldn’t have had to mention his KGB affiliation,” Felber reportedly added.
The ID “does not automatically mean that Putin directly worked for the Stasi,” Felber stressed.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, did not deny that the ID belongs to Putin.
“The KGB and the Stasi were partner services. Therefore, it’s impossible to exclude such an exchange of credentials,” Peskov declared, according to Russia’s state-run TASS news service.
Putin served in Dresden in the 1980s when East German was communist “on his first foreign posting for the [Soviet-era] KGB,” RFE/RL reported.
“After graduating from Leningrad State University in 1975, Putin was recruited into the Soviet Union’s Committee for State Security, the KGB. In 1985, he was assigned to the KGB office in the German Democratic Republic and worked in Dresden until 1990. He was a senior operative, assistant and eventually senior assistant to the section chief,” TASS noted.
Putin spent five years in the city with his then-wife. The couple had their second child in Dresden in 1986.