Tags: Russia | vladimir putin | champagne | celebration | moscow | birthday

Putin Pops Cork to Fete 90-Year-Old Soviet Spymaster

Putin Pops Cork to Fete 90-Year-Old Soviet Spymaster
Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a toast to congratulate former head of the KGB intelligence group in Dresden, Germany, Lazar Matveyev, left, on his 90th birthday on the eve of Victory Day, in Zhulebino in Moscow, Russia, May 8, 2017. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

By    |   Monday, 08 May 2017 12:32 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin started his week with a champagne breakfast to toast the 90th birthday of his former boss in the old Soviet secret service.

Putin and two other ex-KGB spies, Sergey Chemezov and Nikolai Tokarev, made a surprise visit to the home of Lazar Matveyev, who headed the Soviet intelligence agency in the East German city of Dresden in the 1980s.

The trio uncorked a bottle of bubbly and then enjoyed a champagne breakfast with the delighted ex-spy chief, the official Russian news agency TASS reported.

Putin toasted good health to Matveyev and presented him with a presidential watch and a copy of the Soviet newspaper Pravda, published on the day of his birth in 1927.

The Kremlin also released photos showing the three raising their glasses to their ex-supervisor.

In his 2000 autobiography, "First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President," published by PublicAffairs, Putin said that while working under Matveyev, he conducted "political intelligence."

"[I carried out] the usual intelligence activities: recruiting sources of information, obtaining information, analyzing it and sending it to Moscow. [I] looked for information about political parties, the tendencies inside these parties, their leaders," Putin wrote.

"I examined today's leaders and the possible leaders of tomorrow and the promotion of people to certain posts in the parties and the government …

"It was important to know who was doing what and how, what was going on in the Foreign Ministry of a particular country, how they were constructing their policies on certain issues and the various areas of the world, and how our partners would react in disarmament talks."

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Russian President Vladimir Putin started his week with a champagne breakfast to toast the 90th birthday of his former boss in the old Soviet secret service.
vladimir putin, champagne, celebration, moscow, birthday
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2017-32-08
Monday, 08 May 2017 12:32 PM
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