Russian leader "conscientious and disciplined"

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The declassified KGB documents on display in Russia describe the future president Vladimir Putin as a "conscientious and disciplined" spy at the beginning of his career.

"Comrade Putin … constantly increases his ideological, political and professional level," said the document on a page released to the Russian media, written while the secret service agent turned political had twenty years.

"He is actively engaged in party education work".

The profile also describes him as "morally honest" and enjoying "deserved authority among colleagues", noting that he won a judo championship in 1978.

Now 67, Putin has worked for the secret services since the mid-70s and was seconded to Dresden, then to East Germany, from 1985 to 1990, while Soviet power was crumbling.

The Kremlin has surrounded itself with many former secret service employees 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 the second Russian city of St. Petersburg, with other declassified files.

Young Putin also received "congratulations from his elders" on the organization "for his well-organized work and results," the document said.

In 2016, Putin – who has been in power as president or prime minister for two decades – revealed that he had kept his Communist Party card for the USSR for sentimental reasons.

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