Vladimir Putin confessed he worked as a taxi driver
President Vladimir Putin has confessed that he used to work as a taxi driver in the 1990s. A video of him talking about it has been included in a film that will be released on Russia 1 on Sunday. A teaser has already been shown by the Rossiya 24 TV channel.
"Sometimes I had to do part-time work as a taxi driver. I hate to say it, but, unfortunately, that has been there too," he said.
In a 2018 interview the President spoke only of his willingness to work as a taxi driver in the 1990s. He said such thoughts came to him after Mayor Anatoly Sobchak lost the gubernatorial election (Vladimir Putin was the Head of his campaign staff). "I even thought about what to do, maybe work as a part-time taxi driver? I'm not kidding, there's nowhere to go, especially if you have two small children," the President noted.
"So when I was offered to move to Moscow and take up legal affairs in the presidential administration, I agreed and moved there," he added.
Mr Putin also spoke about at least one CIA official among the advisers who worked in the government in the 1990s. "There was probably more than one among these advisers, but one was definitely a staff member of the US Central Intelligence Agency who was not entitled under the laws of his country to engage in commercial activities. The case eventually turned into litigation. In the course of those lawsuits, it turned out that he was a CIA staffer," confessed Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Putin had previously mentioned the CIA's involvement in the Russian government in the 1990s during a meeting of the Council on Civil Society and Human Rights. Then he added that in the early 2000s, after becoming president, he had fired all of the agents.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Vladimir Putin was a KGB officer, including in foreign intelligence work in the German Democratic Republic. In 1990, he returned to the USSR, refusing to transfer to the central apparatus of foreign intelligence, and remained in Leningrad. In 1991, Putin resigned from the KGB.
In May 1990, after Anatoly Sobchak was elected chairman of the Leningrad City Council of People's Deputies, Putin became his adviser. Mr Sobchak was later elected as mayor, and Putin moved to the post of chairman of the Leningrad City Hall's External Relations Committee.
Putin worked in the mayor's office until the summer of 1996, i.e. until Sobchak's defeat in the elections. He was then invited to work in Moscow, where he took up the post of Deputy Head of Presidential Affairs.
, TASS / Alexei Nikolsky