"To give up their life, their nearest and dearest and leave the country for many years, and to dedicate one's life to the Fatherland, not everyone is capable of doing that," the former KGB officer said on state television.
"These are people not like the rest," who have qualities, convictions and character out of the ordinary, Putin added on the Russia-1 channel.
"These are unique people. I wish them happiness and prosperity," he added.
The Russian strongman said that his own service in the country's main security agency during the Soviet era had involved "especially, undercover intelligence".
"Even before I'd finished my school studies, I already wanted to be an intelligence officer," Putin said in the biography, adding that he had been attracted to the service by spy novels.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)