Saint Petersburg, October 31: Declassified KGB documents on display in Russia describe future President Vladimir Putin as a "conscientious and disciplined" spy at the start of his career.
"Comrade Putin... is constantly raising his ideological, political and professional level," said the one-page document released to Russian media, written while the intelligence agent turned politician was in his 20s.
Now 67, Putin worked for the secret service from the mid-1970s and was posted in Dresden, then East Germany, from 1985 to 1990, as Soviet power was crumbling. International Pressure Mounts on Russia's Vladimir Putin Over Spy Poisoning Scandal.
In the Kremlin he has surrounded himself with many former employees of the secret service and the FSB, the successor to the KGB, remains a powerful agency.
The KGB profile is part of an exhibition at the Central Archive of Historical and Political Documents in Russia's second city of Saint Petersburg, featuring other declassified files.
The young Putin also received "congratulations from his seniors" in the organisation "for his well organised work and results," the document said.
In 2016, Putin -- who has been in power as president or prime minister for two decades -- revealed he had kept his USSR Communist Party membership card for sentimental reasons.