Vladimir Putin is so paranoid of being killed he has bodyguard use his washing machine, says former agent
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Peter Muhly - WPA Pool/Getty Images / LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin is so paranoid about being assassinated that he refuses to let anyone but one bodyguard use the washing machines at his residence, a former security officer has claimed.
Vitaly Brizhatiy, who used to work as a dog handler for Russia’s Federal Protection Service, said Putin has amped up security at Olivye - one of his secret palaces in Crimea - since the invasion of Ukraine.
He also claimed that the number of guard dogs surrounding the palace has tripled in the 18-months since the invasion.
Brizhaty, who now lives in Ecuador after defecting from the service, appeared on Russian television station TV Rain, where he claimed that Putin doesn’t fully trust his own security staff and would regularly give them false information about his plans.
“People were told ‘he’s resting at the dacha’ and everybody is running around guarding him but he could be in another place altogether,” said Brizhaty.
He added: “This is how much that man fears for his life.
“Even the position of washing machine operator had to be staffed by an officer.”
Brizhaty said Putin has even gone as far as to employ armed divers who are tasked with scouring the waters of his private beaches for potential threats.
Sharing more details on the Olivye palace, Brizhaty said it was akin to a ‘mini-city’ and that, due to security concerns, civilian contractors were mostly banned from entering.
“It's a fantasy place,” he told the outlet.
“There are fitness halls, fountains, beautiful parks, tea hours, barbeque zones and breaches.”
According to the defected security officer, Russia's former president Dmitry Medvedev and head of Russia’s FSB security service Alexander Bortnikov own properties nearby.
Back in April, another former security officer Gleb Karakulov, who served as a captain in the Federal Protection Service (FSO) shared similar sentiments about Putin’s paranoia.
“Our president has lost touch with the world,” he said.
“He has been living in an information cocoon for the past couple of years, spending most of his time in his residences, which the media very fittingly call bunkers.
“He is pathologically afraid for his life. He surrounds himself with an impenetrable barrier of quarantines and an information vacuum. He only values his own life and the lives of his family and friends.”
He added: “He has shut himself off from the world. His take on reality has become distorted.”