Russian defector sheds light on Putin paranoia and his secret train network

The Guardian

By Andrew Roth and Pjotr Sauer
Gleb Karakulov’s FSO ID card. As an engineer in the presidential communications department, he was responsible for setting up secure communications for the Russian president and prime minister. Photo: AP

A senior Russian security officer who defected last year has given rare insight into the paranoid lifestyle of Vladimir Putin, confirming details of a secret train network, identical offices in different cities, a strict personal quarantine and escalating security protocols.

Gleb Karakulov, who served as a captain in the Federal Protection Service (FSO), a powerful body tasked with protecting Russia’s highest-ranking officials, said the measures were designed to mask the whereabouts of the Russian president, whom he described as “pathologically afraid for his life”.

The 36-year-old said the train was used because it “cannot be tracked on any information resource. It’s done for stealth purposes.”

The Russian investigative outlet Proekt reported previously on the existence of the train and of a secret railway network including parallel lines and stations near Putin’s residences in the Valdai national park in Novo-Ogaryovo, and near his Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Publish : 2023-04-05 18:18:00

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