Putin’s Stasi ID card found in Dresden archive

A Stasi ID card belonging to Russian president Vladimir Putin has been coincidentally found in a Dresden archive, German media reported Tuesday.

Putin's Stasi ID card found in Dresden archive
Russian President Vladimir Putin standing in Dresden during a visit in 2006. Photo: DPA

Years before Vladimir Putin was a politician, the 66-year-old Russian president was active as a KGB official in Dresden. There he also had an identity card from the State Security (Stasi) of the GDR, Spiegel Online reported on Tuesday.

The document had been lying unnoticed in the archives for years, said Konrad Felber, head of the Dresden branch of the Stasi documentation authority.

The identity card was issued on December 31st, 1985 and was repeatedly extended until the end of 1989.

With the document, Putin was able to enter and leave the Stasi offices sans extensive control, Felber explained. “This does not automatically mean, however, that Putin worked for the Stasi.

“In Soviet times, the KGB and the Stasi were friendly services. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that there were also mutual ID cards,” Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the Russian news agency Tass.

Due to a media inquiry, files of the “cadre and training” department of the former Stasi district administration in Dresden had been searched, Felber said.

This had led to the discovery of the identity card. “It is already a small sensation,” he added. “Putin's name was not recorded in the files that prove the issue of identity cards to Soviet military personnel.”

Putin was an eyewitness when, during the peaceful revolution on December 5th, 1989, around 5000 demonstrators occupied the hermetically sealed Dresden’s district administration of the Stasi.

As the demonstrators approached the office, there were violent clashes with Soviet military personnel.

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Germany arrests Russian scientist for spying for Moscow

German police arrested a Russian scientist working at an unidentified university, accusing him of spying for Moscow, prosecutors said on Monday, in a case that risks further inflaming bilateral tensions.

Germany arrests Russian scientist for spying for Moscow
Vladimir Putin. Photo: dpa/AP | Patrick Semansky

Federal prosecutors said in a statement that the suspect, identified only as Ilnur N., had been taken into custody on Friday on suspicion of “working for a Russian secret service since early October 2020 at the latest”.

Ilnur N. was employed until the time of his arrest as a research assistant for a natural sciences and technology department at the unnamed German university.

German investigators believe he met at least three times with a member of Russian intelligence between October 2020 and this month. On two occasions he allegedly “passed on information from the university’s domain”.

He is suspected of accepting cash in exchange for his services.

German authorities searched his home and workplace in the course of the arrest.

The suspect appeared before a judge on Saturday who remanded him in custody.

‘Completely unacceptable’

Neither the German nor the Russian government made any immediate comment on the case.

However Moscow is at loggerheads with a number of Western capitals after a Russian troop build-up on Ukraine’s borders and a series of espionage scandals that have resulted in diplomatic expulsions.

Italy this month said it had created a national cybersecurity agency following warnings by Prime Minister Mario Draghi that Europe needed to
protect itself from Russian “interference”. 

The move came after an Italian navy captain was caught red-handed by police while selling confidential military documents leaked from his computer to a Russian embassy official.


The leaders of nine eastern European nations last month condemned what they termed Russian “aggressive acts” citing operations in Ukraine and “sabotage” allegedly targeted at the Czech Republic.

Several central and eastern European countries have expelled Russian diplomats in solidarity with Prague but Russia has branded accusations of its involvement as “absurd” and responded with tit-for-tat expulsions.

The latest espionage case also comes at a time of highly strained relations between Russia and Germany on a number of fronts including the ongoing detention of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who received treatment in Berlin after a near-fatal poisoning.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has moreover worked to maintain a sanctions regime over Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, the scene of ongoing fighting between pro-Russia separatists and local forces.

And Germany has repeatedly accused Russia of cyberattacks on its soil.

The most high-profile incident blamed on Russian hackers to date was a cyberattack in 2015 that completely paralysed the computer network of the Bundestag lower house of parliament, forcing the entire institution offline for days while it was fixed.

German prosecutors in February filed espionage charges against a German man suspected of having passed the floor plans of parliament to Russian secret services in 2017.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas last week said Germany was expecting to be the target of Russian disinformation in the run-up to its general election in September, calling it “completely unacceptable”.

Russia denies being behind such activities.

Despite international criticism, Berlin has forged ahead with plans to finish the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, set to double natural gas supplies from Russia to Germany.