Pete Zosa, the former chief photographer of the White House, has photographed American presidents for years in meetings with other powerful people.
In 1998, former President Ronald Reagan was photographed with then-Soviet President Michael Gorbachev. One of the photos shows Gorbachev and Reagan during a tour of Red Square in Moscow, where many more attended.
It is this image that now, 33 years later, draws attention – the man in the striped shirt, with the side part and the camera around his neck, is Russian President Vladimir Putin a young man?
A letter arrived in the mail
In 1993, Zosa published the book “Insecure Moments” with pictures from his time at the White House under the Rougan administration.
“Ten years later, I received a random letter from someone asking if I knew I had taken a picture of Reagan and Vladimir Putin – then President of Russia,” the photographer writes. Instagram posts Tuesday.
This made the photographer scratch his head.
In 2009, he was hired as a photographer for the Obama administration. A few days before the inauguration of the President, the American news agency NRP interviewed Chasa.
The president uses the image from Moscow as an example in a conversation about the importance of images and how it may change over time.
– Now when you look at the picture, you think, “Oh, that’s really him.”
– But I should not say that, Zosa writes on Instagram and says that this has led to great discussions.
A month after the NRP interview, a new letter came to Zazawa. Attached to the envelopes was a 1998 photo, with a red ring around the man on the striped shirt. It was followed by “spy”.
It is known that at this time Berlin was working in KGB intelligence in Berlin.
– I gave the letter to the Secret Service, but it was not fruitful, he writes.
Both letters shocked the experienced photographer.
For a long time he has been trying to figure out who is in the striped shirt, but no one has been able to confirm his identity.
Putin’s spokesman has previously said that this is not the case with the Russian president. The photographers firmly believe that it was Putin who entered the picture with Gorbachev in 1998 – but why is still a mystery.