Putin visits former KGB boss on eve of Victory Day

Russia's current boss with his former KGB boss, Lazar Matveyev

Story highlights

  • Putin congratulated Lazar Matveyev on his birthday and the upcoming Victory Day
  • The Russian President offered a toast and presented gifts

(CNN)Vladimir Putin's former KGB boss received a special surprise on the eve of Victory Day.

It was a personal visit by the Russian President, who also took the opportunity to congratulate Lazar Matveyev on his 90th birthday.
"The President conveyed heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Matveyev on his birthday and the upcoming Victory Day and offered a toast to his health," reads a statement by the Kremlin.
Putin presented Matveyev a presidential watch and a copy of Pravda newspaper published on the date of his birth in 1927.
Lazar Matveyev (far right) receives a copy of Pravda that was published on the day of his birth.
Matveyev was Putin's supervisor in East Germany in the second half of the 1980s, says the Kremlin. East Germany was a communist country aligned with the Soviet Union. East and West Germany were officially reunited in 1990.
Putin served at the intelligence office in Dresden from 1985-1990, according to the Kremlin.
Two other former colleges also joined Putin on his visit: Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov and Transneft CEO Nikolai Tokarev, who had worked with him in East Germany.
President Putin offers a toast to Matveyev's health.
This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany during WWII, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.
May 9, the day Germany surrendered to the Soviets in 1945, is a major holiday in Russia and is celebrated with a spectacular military parade in Moscow. More than 26 million people in the former Soviet Union lost their lives in the war.