Vladimir Putin is, like any autocrat, perhaps his own biggest fan. Sure, he’s reportedly been planning the ultimate bunker while descending into assassination-paranoia, but in his heyday, the Russian president crafted a “superman” reputation for himself while posing for shirtless photos on horseback. This has, of course, led to mockery from other world leaders, and Russia’s tattered economy continues to suffer due to his ill-advised Ukraine invasion. To say that this is a mess would be an understatement.
Is there anything left of Putin’s former image, though? Perhaps not because Business Insider reveals that he apparently his own legend as a KGB super spy and a master of Soviet Union intelligence. The publication cites (German outlet) Der Spiegel, which interviewed an ex-Putin KGB colleague who countered that his “work consisted primarily of endlessly reviewing applications for West German relatives’ visits or searching for potential informants among foreign students at Dresden University.” It gets worse:
The report says that Putin is rarely mentioned in Stasi — the name of the East German secret police — records. In those that do reference him, it is only in regards to things like his birthday or administrative tasks, none provide evidence to back up the stories mentioned previously.
Horst Jehmlich, a former Stasi officer who also worked in Dresden, told Der Spiegel that Putin was nothing more than an “errand boy.”
So far, there’s been no reported response from the Kremlin, but to be fair, they’re fairly busy fending off drone strikes and trying to figure out the point of their boss’ Ukraine war. The jury is still out there, too.
(Via Business Insider)