Vladimir Putin’s Stasi ID card, which he used when he worked as a KGB officer in former East Germany, has recently been discovered in Stasi secret police archives in Dresden.
Per an article by the BBC, Putin served as a KGB officer in Dresden in the late 1980s and his Stasi pass was found during research into the close cooperation between Stasi and KGB. According to the ID card, Mr. Putin was a major in the KGB and the pass was used by him in 1985 to access Stasi facilities. He, however, may not have been a spy, the report said.
A statement was released by the Stasi Records Agency (BStU) on Tuesday said that Putin “received the pass so that he could carry out his KGB work in co-operation with the Stasi.”
The BBC report also stated that Stasi was the nickname used for the East German Ministry of State Security (MfS) agents. The secret police were known for its “meticulous surveillance of ordinary citizens, many of whom were pressed into spying on each other.”
The statement further added that at present, there is no indication whether Mr. Putin worked for the MfS.
Per an article by the Guardian, Kremlin neither confirmed nor denied that Putin was issued a Stasi identification. The article further quoted Kremlin Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, as saying the following.
“At those times, the times of the USSR, the KGB and the Stasi were partner services, and so such an exchange of IDs should perhaps not be ruled out.”
Born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Putin was 33 years of age when he was posted to East Germany in 1985. His two daughters were born during that posting. As further detailed by the BBC, Putin was an officer with KGB in Dresden up to and including December 1989, the time when the communist regime in East Germany came to an end amid mass protests.
East Berliners had already breached the Berlin Wall in November, and when protests erupted in December, Putin — who was fluent in German at the time — said that he “personally calmed the Dresden crowd when they surrounded the KGB building there, warning them that it was Soviet territory,” the BBC report added.
Stamps on Putin’s Stasi ID shows that his pass was renewed every three months. It hasn’t been clear as to why Putin left his ID in the Stasi files in Dresden.
The Stasi archives also found photographs of other prominent officers from Russia who served alongside Putin. They include the chief of the defense manufacturer Rostec, Sergey Chemezov, and the Transneft head, Nikolay Tokarev, the Guardian report said.