Kremlin denies photo shows Putin 'arresting dissident'
The Kremlin on Friday denied the validity of a photograph published on the Internet claiming to show President Vladimir Putin helping arrest a dissident in the former Soviet Union while he was a KGB agent.
The picture, circulated by a Russian blogger and already widely viewed, shows a man resembling Putin looking on as a democratic rights activist is roughly arrested.
The state RIA Novosti news agency said the photo appears to come from a book and purportedly shows the arrest in Putin's home town of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) of Democratic Union activist Valery Terekhov in 1989.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the scenario was not possible as at that time Putin was still stationed as a KGB agent in East Germany where he worked for several years.
"At his request, we found out when he (Putin) returned from Germany. And it turned out he returned from Germany three months after that photograph was taken," he said, dismissing the allegations as "lies".
© 2013 AFP