THE head of a leading Russian state-run vaccine institute, who is believed to know Vladimir Putin's medical secrets, has vanished.
Viktor Trukhin, 59, had been sacked for alleged large-scale fraud.
Cops are now searching for him after his family reported him missing from Moscow five days ago.
Trukhin had been the director of the St Petersburg Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums for 11 years.
A lawyer by education, he has full knowledge of Russia’s latest research and development in the field of vaccines, serums and “bacterial preparations”.
The institute is at the forefront of drugs to tackle coronavirus, hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases, and plays a leading role in exporting Russian vaccines.
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The biggest single leading client is a company owned by close Putin crony Sergei Chemezov, a former KGB colleague, who is the billionaire head of ROSTEC, a state-owned hi-tech defence conglomerate.
The institute Trukhin headed is part of the FMBA which is a Russian state body tasked with ensuring the country’s radiation, chemical, biological safety, and spearheading health protection.
It is understood Trukhin knows of Putin's reported health issues.
The tyrant, 70, is rumoured to be battling several problems – with speculation fuelled by his often bloated look and twitching feet.
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Bombshell spy documents leaked to The Sun meanwhile previously appeared to confirm the dictator has pancreatic cancer and early-stage Parkinson's disease.
Investigative police officers have been assigned to the case of the missing vaccine chief, Mash reported.
Trukhin’s daughter saw him in Moscow on September 3 but he has not been seen since, it is reported.
He vanished the day before he was fired by the Federal Medical Biological Agency [FMBA] for alleged large-scale fraud.
Trukhin wrote a farewell letter to staff of his “unique” institute, announcing his departure and saying: “This decision was not mine, unfortunately.”
His WhatsApp and Telegram apps were opened briefly on September 5, but he has not been in touch, it is understood.
FMBA said Russian law enforcement agencies have been handed a dossier alleging his involvement in fraud following a check regarding corruption claims.
Trukhin also currently acts as the honorary consul for Nicaragua in St Petersburg.
Exports of vaccines to South America from his institute were channelled through Nicaragua, reports say.
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