Tags: Russia | vladimir putin | terrorism | germany | sowing | discord | west

Report: Putin Ran European Terrorist Cell During '80s

vladimir putin pumps his left fist during a news conference
Vladimir Putin (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

By    |   Saturday, 20 June 2020 01:37 PM

Vladimir Putin's time in Dresden, Germany, as a young KGB officer has come under scrutiny in a book claiming there is reason to believe he was in alleged close contact with an anti-West "far-left terrorist" cell.

In excerpts of the book "Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West" by Catherine Belton, and posted by Politico, Putin's work in the 1980s was far from uneventful as he has claimed.

"When Putin became president of Russia, the legendary chief of the Stasi's foreign intelligence arm Markus Wolf and Putin's former KGB colleagues took care to stress that he had been a nobody when he served in Dresden," Belton wrote.

Stasi was the East German secret police, which worked with the KGB on intelligence operations. 

But conversations with Stasi and KGB colleagues suggest Putin's years in Dresden might have been invaluable training in his work sowing chaos in Western politics, Belton wrote.

"[O]ne firsthand account also suggests the downplaying of Putin's activities in Dresden was also cover for another mission — one beyond the edge of the law," she wrote.

"According to a former member of the Red Army Faction, the far-left terrorist group in West Germany, who claimed to have met him in Dresden, Putin had worked in support of members of the group, which sowed terror across West Germany in the seventies and eighties," she wrote.

"[S]upport for international terrorism became one of the most important services the Stasi rendered to the KGB," Belton wrote, citing a a paper by a former Soviet analyst at the CIA.

According to Belton, after the fall of the Wall, the West German authorities believed the Stasi had provided only refuge and false identities to Red Army Faction members. But as prosecutors continued to investigate the Stasi's role, they found evidence of a much deeper collaboration. Yet, she wrote, "there was no political will to root out the evils of GDR's past and bring the Stasi men to trial."

Belton wrote one former Red Army Faction member said in the years Putin served in East Germany, Dresden became a meeting place for the group "about half a dozen times."

"Far from taking the backseat role often ascribed to him during his Dresden years, Putin would be among the leaders in these meetings, the former Red Army member claimed, with one of the Stasi generals taking orders from him," Belton wrote.

"As the Red Army Faction sowed chaos across West Germany in a series of vicious bomb attacks, their activities became a key part of KGB attempts to disrupt and destabilize the West, the former member of the terror group claimed."

Belton wrote the former Red Army Faction member’s story "is near-impossible to verify" since former comrades are either in prison or dead. Others allegedly involved in the meetings back then have disappeared.

A close Putin ally from the KGB vigorously denied the claim of a connection between the KGB and the Red Army Faction, or any other European terrorist group, Belton wrote.

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Claiming there is reason to believe Vladimir Putin was in alleged close contact with an anti-West "far-left terrorist" cell, Vladimir Putin's time in Dresden, Germany, as a young KGB officer has come under scrutiny.
vladimir putin, terrorism, germany, sowing, discord, west
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2020-37-20
Saturday, 20 June 2020 01:37 PM
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