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A former Russian security officer who now resides in Ecuador has provided insights into Vladimir Putin’s security measures, shedding light on the leader’s concerns about potential assassination attempts.
Vitaly Brizhaty, the former guard, disclosed that Putin employs one of his bodyguards as a washing machine operator at his dacha in Crimea, a secret residence annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014.
He said: “This is how much he fears for his life.”
Brizhaty’s interview with TV Rain, an independent Russian TV station exiled from the country, offered a rare insight into Putin’s security protocols.
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According to Brizhaty, armed divers are deployed to swim around Putin’s private beaches, ensuring constant surveillance for any potential threats. These precautions demonstrate Putin’s heightened awareness and concern for his personal safety.
The former guard also revealed that Putin maintains a level of mistrust even towards his own security personnel. Brizhaty claimed that the Russian leader frequently provides false information about his whereabouts and travel plans, deliberately keeping his security team guessing. This deliberate misinformation creates a state of uncertainty among his guards.
“People were told ‘he’s resting at the dacha’ and everybody is running around guarding him but he could be in another place altogether,” he said.
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Brizhaty’s account aligns with that of another Federal Protection Service (FSO) officer who fled Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
This officer had previously stated that Putin would send decoy motorcades from his residence near Sochi to create confusion about his movements.
Brizhaty’s testimony also delved into the behaviours and expectations of Putin’s staff. He described Olivye, Putin’s luxurious palace in Crimea, as a fully operational “mini-city” that must be maintained with fresh food and flowers at all times. The palace offers various amenities, including fitness halls, fountains, parks, tea houses, barbecue zones, and private beaches.
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