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.