Nikolai Leonov: “Putin was an agent of the mediocre”

Almighty the President of Russia Vladimir Putin — a former KGB officer, who has the experience of the cold war, with its dangers and pitfalls. Whenever the Western press says about this biographical fact, or with horror, or with contempt, meanwhile, Putin himself is in no hurry to destroy the halo.

“Let us speak plainly: this image is not correct. Putin has always been pretty mediocre agent,” says one of his former bosses, a retired General 88-year-old Nikolai Leonov.

And this man knows whereof he speaks: he worked in the KGB from 1956 to 1991, and occupied the second position in the formidable Soviet secret services in the period when Putin served in East Germany between 1985 and 1990.

“When we had student, fluent in German, as was the case with Putin, and if he was really sensible, he was sent to West Germany or Austria, on the cutting edge,” says Leonov.

“But Putin was in the Eastern, Communist part. In General, if it was really necessary, he would have called to Berlin, to the point of contact with the Western side, and he would cooperate with the Stasi, the secret police of the German socialist regime”.

Putin was sent to Dresden, deep into East Germany. “There was nothing to do, they sent second-rate employees. When someone back — at least, if it was a valuable agent he was transferred to Moscow to prepare for the next assignment,” he continues.

The current President returned to his native Leningrad, today St. Petersburg. “The circle is closed. He was appointed to the local University to spy on foreign students, most of whom were quite devout Communists,” the General said.

He, as a former Deputy chief of the First chief Directorate of the KGB of the USSR in the period from 1983 to 1991, said that about Putin not to say that its “forged” service in intelligence.

“It is possible to understand one of the typical signs: he’s always late for meetings. It’s weird, unthinkable for intelligence officer. We sin by excessive punctuality, because it affects the lives of our associates.”

The Internet Leonova often referred to as the “friend and mentor” of Putin, but he denied his personal acquaintance with the then Junior officer, which largely indicates the insignificance of Putin in the structure — the President rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

You should give him his due: Putin has never boasted of what was in the KGB for some important place. In a series of interviews that formed the basis for the book “first person”, published shortly after Putin came to power in 2000, President sparing of words when it comes to distribution out of law school in 1975. His most pleasant memory on the service in Dresden, he calls an excellent local beer, which had the order of razdobit.

This appointment, according to his confession, was a “fairly minor”. However the Western media with perseverance turning to the events of the past to prove how evil can be Putin: just look at it as he is painted, the liberal media of the US or the UK.

Not to say that this is Putin only harm. “The aura of mystery adds more to the forces of the mysterious image of a powerful man, privy to all the secrets. But the West suffers from nostalgia for the cold war,” says the political scientist Konstantin Frolov from Moscow.

Even the body language of the President, who when walking usually keeps the right hand close to the body as if at any moment ready to pull out a gun, considered in the context of the habits of the former KGB.


Leonov said Putin one trait, which he defines as opportunism: “On returning to Leningrad, he saw that everything around is crumbling, and quickly over to the side of the opponents”. We are talking about Anatoly Sobchak, the liberal mayor of the city, which in 1990 he trusted Putin to engage in foreign investment in his administration, thus beginning his political career.

Former Deputy from the nationalist party Nikolai Leonov argues that Putin is not as all-powerful as it may seem. “In the economic system of Russia, which is not even remotely be called a capitalist, is dominated by public and private oligarchic structures. They are quite satisfied with the status quo,” he says.

In his opinion, the President is under the influence of the oligarchs. “All laws are in the interests of the big bourgeoisie, gasoline is expensive, and that while the price of oil on international markets is rather low, but I think people are gradually beginning to understand this,” he says, referring to the recent anti-Putin protests.

Leonov pessimistic about the future of Russia. “Our ship broke. Many countries have overtaken, for example Brazil or Mexico, meanwhile we have no roadmap. Where we’ll be in five, ten or fifteen years?” he says, rejecting a return to communism as a viable alternative, despite his obvious sympathy for this regime.

Friendship with Raul and Fidel Castro

Today the debate about the new Cuban Constitution revolve around proposals put forward in 2011 by the dictator Raul Castro: the five-year term renewable for 60 years as the maximum age to occupy positions in the Central Committee, maintaining a one-party system and indirect elections — they will confirm the second important figure of the regime as the new President.

To such conclusion Nikolay Leonov after six months spent in Havana. This was reported to him Castro, whom Leonov befriends 1953: then they met on the ship returning from the Congress of young Communists in Romania.

Leonov visited the Communist island, gathering information for a biography of his friend of the dictator, which now ends with his hero, he eagerly defends.

“The transition is complete. Number two is already ready, it’s Diaz-Kanel’, people who have no relationship to the origins of the revolution. But the Communist party remains in power,” said the retired General.

57-year-old Diaz-Kanel ‘ was appointed first Deputy Chairman of the State Council of Cuba. To replace Raul at the head of the country and the mandate of the 86-year-old dictator expires next year — he will win the confidence of the army,

On a brilliant Spanish language, despite problems with his vision after suffering a stroke recently, Leonov said that the rapprochement with Cuba, initiated by the United States in late 2014 when the then President Barack Obama, “it means victory of the revolution.”

In his opinion, the threat to reverse this process is played by the current US President Donald trump, are “nonsense, because stopping this process is impossible today”. He noted that a Republican, despite his harsh statements, has not severed diplomatic relations with the island.

Career Russian officer Leonov intricately intertwined with the history of the Cuban revolution of 1959.

Two years later, after the meeting with Raul Leonov met with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara and introduced the trio to the Kremlin to encourage the revolution is not Communist in nature — in the era of American pressure fell into the arms of Moscow.

Leonov was the translator of the dictator Fidel Castro during his famous visit to Moscow in 1963 following the Cuban missile crisis, when a year earlier due to the Soviet Union’s attempts to place its missiles the world was on the brink of nuclear war.

From 1956 until retirement in 1991, Leonov was a leading expert of the KGB in Latin America and occupied the second important post of the Deputy chief of intelligence — a detailed story about his life Folha published almost ten years ago.