Russian President Vladimir Putin.
GAVRIIL GRIGOROV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin is so paranoid that he will be killed, an ex-security officer said per reports.
The ex-member of Putin’s protection service reportedly said Putin has armed divers looking for would-be assassins.
“This is how much he fears for his life,” Vitaly Brizhaty told Russian outlet TV Rain, according to a report.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is so paranoid that he has armed divers on the hunt for would-be assassins around his private beaches and deliberately gives out bogus information to his own bodyguards, according to a defected ex-security officer.
“This is how much he fears for his life,” Vitaly Brizhaty, the former member of Putin’s protection service, said during a recent interview with independent Russian outlet TV Rain, according to a translation of the interview by The Telegraph.
Brizhaty — who worked for the Federal Protection Service and fled from Russia to Ecuador after the Kremlin invaded Ukraine, according to Radio Free Europe — also said that Putin is so worried about being killed that he has one of his bodyguards working as a washing machine operator at a palace in Russian-annexed Crimea, The Telegraph reported, citing the TV Rain interview.
The ex-security officer said that he was a dog handler for the FSO and stationed at one of Putin’s secret properties in Crimea, according to the news outlet.
Brizhaty, who referred to the Crimean palace as a “fantasy place” and “mini-city,” said that Putin did not fully trust his own guards and often would lie to them about how he would arrive in Crimea and where he would stay, according to the report.
“People were told, ‘he’s resting at the dacha’ and everybody is running around guarding him, but he could be in another place altogether,” Brizhaty told TV Rain, according to The Telegraph.