Vladimir Putin: Craziest Life Facts to Know

Putin Is A Former Russian Spy

Young Vladimir Putin joined the KGB, Soviet Russia’s feared secret service, in 1975 and spent his first 10 years monitoring foreign officials in Leningrad. He was then transferred in Dresden, Germany, where he worked undercover pretending to be a translator until the fall of the Berlin Wall, during which he is said to have burned all of the KGB files in order to prevent demonstrators from obtaining them.

He then briefly worked in Saint Petersburg until 1991, when he resigned from the KGB in the eve of the failed coup d’état attempt against President Mikhail Gorbachev, one of the last steps that led to the fall of the Soviet Union. Of course, this is the official story. After all, he was a secret agent, so there’s hardly any way to know what he actually did during the almost two decades he spent in the service of his country.