Vladimir Putin has been accused of being a wife-beater and philanderer by German spies.
The Russian prime minister allegedly had several affairs while he was himself a spy in Dresden in the late Eighties.
Files from West German spy agency BND published in the German media claim an interpreter agent befriended Putin’s wife Lyudmila, who poured her heart out about her marriage.
She allegedly told the agent that her husband used ‘domestic violence and [had] numerous sexual affairs’.
Putin, 59, a former Russian President who is expected to return to power next year, headed Soviet intelligence operations in the East German city from 1985 to 1990.
The files were discovered by BND expert Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, author of several books and papers on the spy agency.
Bild, Germany’s biggest paper, said: ‘This report gives added nourishment to the rumour that [Putin] left in his black Volga limousine in the spring of 1990 allegedly leaving an illegitimate baby behind.’
Mrs Putin once damned her husband with faint praise by confiding to a friend: ‘At least he doesn’t beat me.’ And Putin has been quoted in the past as telling a friend: ‘Anyone who can spend three weeks with Lyudmila deserves a monument.’
Putin’s chief spokesman yesterday said he had ‘no comment’ on the reports.
The interpreter agent, a Baltic Russian with German roots identified only as Lenchen Sch., became a pal of Mrs. Putin and visited her at the flat at 101 Raderbergerstrasse she shared with her husband in the city.
The paper said Lenchen - codenamed "Balcony" because of her large breasts - became a shoulder to cry on for Ludmilla as she poured her heart out about her then 33-year-old husband"s alleged infidelities and abuse.
Lenchen made it to the west in 1989, shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. She was pregnant with the child of a KGB officer and now lives on a BND pension in southern Germany.