As Vladimir Putin himself has said, "there is no such thing as a former KGB man," and many wonder how much his career in the KGB plays an influence today. Many of Putin's outspoken critics have ended up poisoned or murdered, a tactic often utilized by the KGB, writes NPR: "Proven or not, the radioactive death of [Alexander] Litvinenko hangs like a cloud over Putin's head." Meanwhile, the murder of Anna Politkovskaya is thought by some to have been a way to silence her reporting, which "exposed the Russian president as a power hungry product of his own (KGB-) history," according to RFI.
Some, like Foreign Policy, claim that with the FSB, Putin has essentially "reincarnated the KGB." Even its name, the Ministry of State Security, was the same name given to Stalin's secret service, which operated from 1943 to 1953. And by combining domestic surveillance with foreign espionage, under Putin the FSB has operationally returned to its KGB roots. In the end, even though the Soviet Union fell, "the institutions the security men worked in did not break down...the personal networks did not disappear," writes Catherine Belton.
And having seen what the sentiment of the masses can accomplish in Germany, in his time as president Putin has been quick to repeatedly suppress dissent, such as in 2012 when Putin's "security forces crushed a wave of anti-government demonstrations," writes First Post. Putin has also repeatedly jailed opposition leaders and activists.