Putin Attends Birthday Party for His Old KGB Boss

Vladimir Putin and Lazar Matveev. Kremlin Press Service

A day before Russia’s Victory Day festivities, Vladimir Putin paid a special birthday visit to his old KGB boss, Lazar Matveev, who turned 90 on Monday. They were joined by two other former colleagues from their days in Dresden: Nikolai Tokarev and Sergei Chemezov.

Matveev now lives in a modest apartment on Moscow’s outskirts, while Tokarev and Chemezov head major state corporations (Transneft and Rostech, respectively). Vladimir Putin has done okay for himself, too.

President Putin brought his old supervisor a watch and a framed copy of “Pravda” published 90 years ago exactly, on May 8, 1927, the day Matveev was born.


In 1985, Vladimir Putin was stationed in East Germany, after finishing his higher education at a Moscow KGB school. Putin worked in Dresden until 1990, rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In 1989, he was also awarded a bronze medal for outstanding service to the National People’s Army of the GDR.

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