In an interview, Putin’s ex-colleague tells about the time they spent with the former Soviet secret services and why his career as a spy failed.
Since the attack on Ukraine, not a day has passed without a report on Vladimir Putin being published. If it is not about his allegedly deplorable state of health, old acquaintances speak up. One of them is Sergei Zhirnov. The former KGB employee spoken to AFP news agency not only about the alleged reasons for the attack on the neighboring country, but also about how he assesses the Russian president and his actions.
trigger for war
The official Moscow narrative is that Putin is ordering military action to stop the alleged genocide of the Russians inside Ukraine and to “denazify” the country. According EuroactivIn Putin’s own words:
The aim is to protect people who have been harassed and murdered by the Kyiv regime for eight years. And for this we will seek the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine and bring to justice those who have committed numerous bloody crimes against the civilian population, including the citizens of the Russian Federation.
Sergei Jirnov, however, characterized the attack quite differently. For Putin, war is above all a way to create a monument, whatever the judgment:
I think he wants to go down in history as the biggest bastard and the worst dictator.
Jirnov is no friend of Putin
It seems the two weren’t really on the same page back then. Already when they first met, there was said to have been an argument. Jirnov recalled an incident that happened during the Moscow Olympics. At that time, he had spoken too long in French with another person present. Putin then accused him of having served as a spy for the French. Years later, in his book The gear (“Entanglement”), he hardly had warm words for his former colleague:
He’s Russian like me, but he embodies everything I don’t like: cynicism, lies, lack of compassion, brutality.
A month ago, in an interview with Papulehe explained why they suddenly broke up:
We arrived at the Andropov Institute, the elite school where spies were trained, the same year. I was admitted to the ‘S’ section, among the ‘clandestines’, the most prestigious of the KGB.
Putin, on the other hand, was deemed unsuitable for the spy service because he was “unable to properly assess the consequences of his decisions”, which was too dangerous for him and the secret service. He was immediately sorted and returned to Leningrad.
In his book, he then becomes even more explicit:
I had before me a man who had failed in his career as a secret agent because he was not intelligent enough, moreover too ambitious and deceived.
This article is translated from Gentside DE.
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