A pouting 1980s photo of Putin turned up in a Soviet-era stash of Stasi work IDs

BSTUA German archive found Russian President Vladimir Putin’s old ID card when he served as a KGB officer in East Germany.
  • A German archive this week found Vladimir Putin’s old secret police ID card from the 1980s.
  • The photo ID, issued when the now-Russian president was 33, shows him suited and pouting, while staring into the distance.
  • Putin was working for the Soviet Union’s KGB security agency at the time, and worked with the Stasi – East Germany’s ministry for state security – from 1985 to 1990.
  • He was posted to Dresden, East Germany, when the Soviet Union controlled region at the time.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s old secret service ID card from the 1980s was found in an East German secret police archive on Tuesday, and it shows the young man pouting and staring proudly into the distance.

Putin, who worked for the Soviet Union’s KGB security agency at the time, worked alongside the Stasi – East Germany’s Ministry for State Security – from 1985 to 1990. East Germany was under Soviet Union’s control at the time.

The ID was issued in 1986, when Putin was 33, The Stasi Documentation Archive said on Tuesday.

He was a “subordinate officer to a KGB liaison officer” at the time, the archive said.


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The front of the card showed Putin’s photo, the location of his service – Dresden – and the ID’s issue number – B 217590.

There are several stamps on the back of the card, which were stamped every three months and ended in late 1989. It’s not immediately clear what they represent.

Putin stasiBSTUStamps on Vladimir Putin’s old Stasi ID card.

A spokesman for the Stasi Documentation Archive said it was normal for KGB agents stationed in East Germany to be issued passes giving them entry to the German Stasi offices, Reuters reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the news agency: “As is well known at the time when the Soviet Union existed, the KGB and the Stasi were partner intelligence agencies so you probably can’t rule out an exchange of such identity cards.”

After leaving the Stasi and the KGB, Putin went on to work for the KGB’s successor, the FSB.

He served as director there from 1998 to 1999, before becoming president in 2000.

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