07:38 GMT +319 August 2019
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin visited former head of the KGB intelligence group in Dresden Lazar Matveev, right, in Zhulebino

    Putin Congratulates His Former KGB Boss During Work in Dresden on Anniversary

    © Sputnik / Aleksey Nikolskyi
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin has personally congratulated ex-representative of the Soviet KGB under the Ministry of State Security of the GDR (East Germany,) Lazar Matveev, who was his boss during work in Dresden, on his 90th anniversary.

    The Russian leader came to Matveev's home on Moscow's outskirts with former colleagues who worked with him in Dresden.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin visited former head of the KGB intelligence group in Dresden Lazar Matveev, right, in Zhulebino
    © Sputnik / Aleksey Nikolskyi
    Russian President Vladimir Putin visited former head of the KGB intelligence group in Dresden Lazar Matveev, right, in Zhulebino

    Putin congratulated his ex-boss on the 90th anniversary and the upcoming Victory Day and raised a toast to the health of Matveev.

    The Russian head of state presented the anniversary celebrant a presidential clock, as well as a copy of the legendary Soviet newspaper Pravda released on Matveev's birthday in 1927.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin visited former head of the KGB intelligence group in Dresden Lazar Matveev, left, in Zhulebino
    © Sputnik / Aleksey Nikolskyi
    Russian President Vladimir Putin visited former head of the KGB intelligence group in Dresden Lazar Matveev, left, in Zhulebino

    Federal Security Service, formerly called the State Security Committee [KGB], on Moscow's Lubyanka Square. (File)
    © Sputnik / Alexander Polyakov
    According to information on the Kremlin's official website, Putin worked in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1985-1990 doing foreign intelligence work. He served in the city of Dresden. During his service, Putin was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and from the position of the senior special agent to the assistant chief of a department, and then to the post of the senior assistant.

    The president himself recalls that work in East Germany in the book "From the First Person."

    "It was a job in political intelligence: getting information about politicians, about plans of a potential enemy," Putin explained.

    The building of the Federal Security Service (FSB), formerly the State Security Committee (KGB) on Moscow's Lubyanskaya Square.
    © Sputnik / Eugene Odinokov
    The building of the Federal Security Service (FSB), formerly the State Security Committee (KGB) on Moscow's Lubyanskaya Square.

    "Ordinary intelligence: recruiting sources of information, getting information, processing it and sending it to the center. It concerned information about political parties, trends within these parties, leaders — today's and possible tomorrow's, about promoting people to certain posts in parties and state apparatus. It was important to know who, how and what he does in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of interest, as well as how it [the ministry] is forming its policy on different issues in different parts of the world, or what the position of our partners in the disarmament negotiations will be, for example, it was quite a routine work," Putin said.

    In 2013, Putin provided a rare insight into 16 years of his work in the KGB. "It’s bad to eavesdrop," Putin smiled and told a meeting of the All-Russian People’s Front movement. "I learned this from my time in the KGB. [And] I gave it up."

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    KGB, Vladimir Putin, Russia
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