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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Book: Putin Had Taxi Backup Plan

President Vladimir Putin feared that his resignation from the KGB during the 1991 hard-line coup could leave him with no other job than that of a gypsy cab driver -- or land him in prison if worst came to worst, according to excerpts from a new book.

"I thought then: If the coup plotters triumph and they don't put me behind bars, how am I going to feed the family?!" Putin said in the book "Vladimir Putin: Road to Power," written by journalist Oleg Blotsky.

Excerpts of the book, which is set to hit store shelves this week, were published by Komsomolskaya Pravda on Friday.

"Honestly speaking, I thought about becoming a taxi driver," Putin recalled, saying he considered using his own car, a Volga sedan that he bought during his stint as a KGB intelligence officer in East Germany.

"I knew that if the coup plotters won ... they wouldn't let me get any job," he said. "My only concern was what would happen to the children, how could I ensure their future." Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, have two teenage daughters.

The book covers Putin's life from 1975 to December 1999, when then-President Boris Yeltsin abruptly resigned, making Putin, his prime minister, the acting president until the March 2000 election. The book is part of a planned trilogy on Putin. The first volume chronicled Putin's youth until his graduation from university and recruitment by the KGB.

The excerpts published Friday focused on Putin's decision to quit the KGB in the turbulent days of the August 1991 coup, during which the Communist old guard briefly overthrew Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in an attempt to quash democratic reforms.

Putin said his first letter of resignation went missing, but he wrote the second on Aug. 20, the second day of the botched, three-day coup that spearheaded the Soviet collapse.

After he returned from his five-year stay in Germany in January 1990, Putin got a job at St. Petersburg University, his alma mater. However, he remained a KGB officer, as was the normal practice during Soviet times. Soon after, he became an aide to St. Petersburg's liberal mayor, Anatoly Sobchak, in charge of foreign economic relations.

In the published excerpts, Putin said he had begun thinking about quitting the KGB even before the coup because he became concerned about some business structures making attempts to use his affiliation with the KGB for blackmailing him.

The Soviet secret police was becoming the target of fierce media criticism and popular anger amid Gorbachev's liberalization drive.

Putin recalled in the excerpts that he had mixed feelings about the coup when it came. On the one hand, he disapproved of Gorbachev's policy, describing it as "unilateral disarmament" in the face of "old geopolitical rivals," but, on the other hand, he felt that the "old system had already died."

Putin said the coup made him choose between his oath of allegiance as a KGB officer and "moral obligations" he undertook when he became Sobchak's deputy. "I believed that for moral reasons I couldn't fulfill any orders against the authority I was part of," he said, explaining his decision to quit the KGB. He resigned just about a year before retirement age from the service.

"That was a very tense moment," Putin recalled. "No one knew how the confrontation would end."