Consider the source. The Sun is more tabloid than news, but the article is amusing.
Retired general Nikolai Leonov says Putin was sent to an unimportant posting in East Germany
RUSSIAN president Vladimir Putin was a “mediocre” KGB agent, according to his former boss at the sinister Soviet spy agency.
Retired general Nikolai Leonov says Putin was sent to an unimportant posting in East Germany after he was recruited as a spy.
Leonov was in the KGB from 1956 to 1991 and was the number two in the dreaded Soviet secret service when Putin served in Dresden between 1985 and 1990.
He told Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo: “When we had a cadet fluent in German, as was Putin’s case, if he was good he would go to West Germany or Austria.
“But he went to the eastern side, which was communist.”
He added that promising officers would be sent to Berlin to work with the Stasi – the secret police of the East German regime – not Dresden.
Leonov, a former Latin America expert for Soviet Russia, also claims Putin was often late for appointments – a habit that was “strange and scandalous” to KGB officers.
Putin admits he was in a “minor position” in the KGB but Russian state media often claims he bravely defended the Soviet Union, even threatening an angry crowd with a gun to stop them from ransacking the spy agency’s offices after the collapse of the USSR.
Leonov, 88, told the newspaper that he is pessimistic about Russia’s future under Putin and thinks that the Russian strongman is not as secure in power as most people believe because he is dominated by the powerful oligarchies.
He said: “We are a stranded boat and many countries are going ahead of us, like Brazil or Mexico, and we do not have a map of the way out.”
“Where will we be in 5, 10 or 15 years?”
Leonov served as the interpreter for Fidel Castro during his famous visit to Moscow in 1963, a year after after the Cuban Missile Crisis.