A Ukrainian serviceman fires with a mortar at a position, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, at an unknown location in Kharkiv region, Ukraine May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Putin’s Implacable Enemy: Senator John McCain Looked Into Vladimir Putin’s Eyes And Saw Three Letter: a K, a G, and a B

By Paul Davis

With the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has been vilified by nearly the entire world.

This has not always been so, as many within and without Russia once believed that Putin was a welcomed change from the inept previous Russian leader, Boris Yeltsin. In the February 2000 Republican presidential debate, Texas Governor George W. Bush stated the jury was still out on Putin, noting that not enough was known about the Russian leader.

Senator John S. McCain (R-Az) disagreed.

“We know that he was an apparatchik. We know that he was a member of the KGB,” McCain countered. “We know that he came to power because of the military brutality in Chechnya. I’m very concerned about Mr. Putin.”

Senator McCain would go on to become Putin’s most persistent American critic.

Valdimire Putin was a Lieutenant Colonel in the KGB and served in Communist East Germany during the Cold War. He resigned from the KGB in 1991 and entered politics in Saint Petersburg. Russian journalist Masha Gessen states in her book on Putin, “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin,” that Putin remained a reserve KGB officer and was probably a covert operator for the Soviet intelligence agency. He was later promoted to colonel in the KGB.

Putin moved to Moscow and became an assistant to Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996. He went on to serve as the director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB, and...