Putin protection officer DEFECTS and labels despot a 'war criminal'

Putin protection officer DEFECTS and labels the Kremlin despot a ‘war criminal’ so paranoid about his own safety he stays ‘in his bunker’ and is ‘mortally afraid’ of Covid

  • Gleb Karakulov is a captain in the Federal Guard Service who escaped to Turkey
  • He revealed Putin is ‘mortally afraid’ of Covid and is isolating for fourth year 

A protection officer who worked directly for Vladimir Putin has defected from Russia labelling the Kremlin despot as a ‘war criminal’.

Gleb Karakulov, 35, is a captain in the Federal Guard Service, known as the FGS or FSO, who escaped via Istanbul to safety.

He revealed that Putin is paranoid about his personal security and assassination attempts and that he opts to stay ‘in his bunker’ rather than make trips like he used to. 

Karukalov added that the Russian despot is ‘mortally afraid’ of Covid and is isolating himself for the fourth year.

Yet the dictator appears in good health for a 70-year-old, testimony which possibly contradicts repeated claims that he is ailing although it is unclear the captain had access to Putin’s health secrets.

Gleb Karakulov (pictured), a protection officer who worked directly for Vladimir Putin, has defected from Russia labelling him a ‘war criminal’

Karukalov added that the Russian despot is ‘mortally afraid’ of Covid and is isolating himself for the fourth year

Dossier independent media – which revealed his testimony – claims Karakulov is the highest ranking defector so far from Putin’s immediate security circle.

Karakulov – an engineer – in the presidential communications directorate had access to Putin’s personal communications, according to Dossier.

He was reportedly responsible for earlier leaks about Putin’s armoured train. Putin is so concerned about Western bugging that he takes a special box with him on foreign trips to prevent his secret talks from leaking.

His guards – the FSO is also known as the Federal Protection Service and headed by Putin’s loyal henchman Viktor Zolotov – ‘call him the Boss, worship him in every way and only ever talk of him in those terms’.

His paranoia is shown by him never using a mobile phone. ‘I mean, in all my years of service, I haven’t seen him once with a mobile phone,’ he said.

‘With Putin…he doesn’t use the Internet or a mobile phone. He only receives information from his closest circle, which means that he lives in an information vacuum.’

This means his knowledge of events is filtered via the secret services – and what he watches on state controlled Russian TV.

Vladimir Putin, pictured in April 2022, looks frail and bloated as he grips the side of a table during a meeting with his defence minister

Asked if Covid-fearing Putin is always in ‘lockdown’, Karakulov replied: ‘Yes, he is. We still have a self-isolating President. We have to observe a strict quarantine for two weeks before any event, even those lasting 15 to 20 minutes.

‘There is a pool of employees who have been cleared – who underwent this two-week quarantine. They are [considered] ‘clean’ and can work in the same room as Putin.’

Asked about rumours of Putin’s being terminally ill, he appeared unaware of credible information that the dictator has had or still suffers from cancer.

‘It was not something my colleagues discussed,’ he told Dossier. ‘If he has any health issues, they must be due to his age. Well, he probably does have them. But it is nothing too serious, I guess.’

He said: ‘I can tell you that I went on many business trips with him, and he went on many trips before 2020.

‘After that he stayed in his bunker and maybe made just one, maximum, three business trips a year.

‘Given the fact that there had been many business trips, only one or two were cancelled because of his health.’

Karakulov said: ‘He is in better health than many other people his age. He has annual medical checkups.’

Karakulov said they had to observe a strict quarantine for two weeks before any event, even those lasting 15 to 20 minutes. Pictured: Putin appeared to walk with a limp and had a blanket over his lap as he attended Russia’s 2022 victory day parade in Moscow in May

He seemed remarkably ignorant of Putin’s private life with gymnast Alina Kabaeva, 39, and their young children.

But he confirmed Putin has a £1 billion cliff top palace at Gelendzhik on the Black Sea, and a private yacht Scheherazade, as earlier revealed by Russia’s independent media.

It is unclear where the defector is now but is assumed to be in the West.

But he issued an appeal to officers to come forward with evidence about Putin as a ‘war criminal’.

‘I would like to address Russian officers, including the FGS officers,’ he stated. ‘You have information that is not broadcast on television. I have only seen a tiny part of it. Come forward, support me [with more evidence]. You will help our citizens to learn the truth.

‘I am sure that you had questions about the Commander-in-Chief’s actions before, but the oath forced you not to ask [them] and to smoothly execute his orders.

‘However, what is happening now [with the war in Ukraine] is beyond the pale, it defies reason.

Karakulov confirmed Putin has a £1 billion cliff top palace at Gelendzhik on the Black Sea, as earlier revealed by Russia’s independent media. Pictured: Putin’s alleged palace

The defector also confirmed that the Russiand despot has a private yacht Scheherazade (pictured)

‘You mustn’t follow criminal orders and serve this war criminal, Vladimir Putin. And I consider him a war criminal.’

Karakulov said his invasion of Ukraine ‘is simply beyond comprehension’.

‘Multiple rocket launchers are being used, residential buildings and critical infrastructure are being hit.

‘How many nameless victims of this war are there, how many of them are children? How many more such victims are required before you stop putting up with it?

‘What is happening now in Ukraine, all this destruction, this war of aggression, terrorism, and genocide of the Ukrainian people – there is no other word for it – all this is a criminal offence.

‘Our President has become a war criminal.’

He urged those still inside Putin’s security service: ‘You have to stop following these criminal orders. The FGS [FSO] officers are around the President all the time. You can just go in and indicate that this is a crime.

‘It is up to you to stop this madness very quickly. I wish you would do that because it would save many lives.’

In a message to Russian people he said: ‘Our President has lost touch with the world. 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.

Karakulov said his invasion of Ukraine ‘is simply beyond comprehension’ before labelling Putin as a ‘war criminal’

‘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. The lives of your family and friends are of no interest to him.

‘By tearing men from their families and sending them to be slaughtered in sovereign Ukraine, he shows he does not care in the least about what is happening to our country and Ukraine, about the fact that he brings trouble, destruction, and death to the brotherly people of Ukraine and to us.’

The ‘criminal war’ must be ended as soon as possible, he said. ‘Life is the highest value. We have forgotten it in this country. People are considered cannon fodder.

‘This will continue to be the case as long as we remain silent. This war has to end and it is time to break the silence.’

Karakulov – who worked since 2009 in the FGS – escaped when he was sent on a business trip to Kazakhstan to prepare for a Putin visit.

On this trip in October 2022 – during the war – Putin had his own bomb shelter, said the defector.

‘It is a kind of paranoia,’ he said. Putin ‘is simply afraid’.

Karakulov (pictured) urged those still inside Putin’s security service to stop following ‘criminal’ orders from Putin

Karakulov’s wife and daughter escaped separately also via Kazakhstan and Istanbul.

‘They are not running after me with Novichok [nerve agent] yet, but they have already gone to see my relatives, and I think that the reason for this sluggish interest in me is that they think: ‘There are plenty more of such engineers, one more, one less, who cares!’

He is under investigation in Russia for ‘desertion’.

The captain had installed special communications links for Putin in his planes, helicopters, yachts and armoured train.

He increasingly uses the train ‘because it is less conspicuous.

‘Planes show up on certain [databases]. Whereas a train, how many of these grey trains are there? Most importantly, they cannot be tracked on any information resource. It’s done for stealth purposes.’

He said: ‘The President also has a telephone booth we take on every foreign trip. It is a place from which you can conduct talks with guaranteed confidentiality.

‘The booth is, of course, bulky. It is a cube about 2.5 meters high.

‘Inside there is a workstation and a telephone, which one can use to talk without fear of these conversations being overheard or read by foreign intelligence.’

This box always travels abroad along with Putin’s nuclear suitcase which he can use to unleash atomic war.

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