- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested his previous job as a spy for the Soviet Union’s secretive KGB intelligence agency helped prepare him for his current role at the helm of the Kremlin.

Mr. Putin credited his past profession during an interview aired on state-run television in response to being asked if he’s changed his behavior since becoming president, The Moscow Times reported Tuesday.

“As strange as it sounds, no,” Mr. Putin said during an appearance on Channel One’s “Vremya” program Monday, as translated by The Times.

“Yes, I’m in the limelight, but in my previous life I always tried to act as if I was constantly being watched,” Mr. Putin added. “It’s strange, but that’s how it worked out, perhaps because of my previous work.”

Mr. Putin, 65, joined the KGB in 1975, and he held the rank of lieutenant colonel at the time of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. Years later he briefly served as the director of the KGB’s Russian successor, the Federal Security Service (FSB), prior to successfully running for president in 2000.

Mr. Putin announced last month that he plans to seek re-election, paving the way for possibly his fourth term as Russian president.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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