Vladimir Putin (69) has not returned to the Kremlin since February 23, the day before the attack on Ukraine. The center of his power in Moscow is currently too dangerous for him.
Only Putin gives orders
Fearing attacks, Putin moves from one place to another. At his side are agents of the FSO (“Federalnaja Sluschba Ochrany”) and the National Guard, a group he set up specifically for his protection. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday once again made it clear that Putin alone gives the orders for attacks in Ukraine. He is the sole commander,” he said.
At least 7 Putin hideouts
Putin uses at least seven locations in his hide-and-seek game. He has his own apartment and a rented apartment in Moscow, as well as other residences in Kaliningrad, Karelia (near the Finnish border), the Altai Mountains and the Crimea near Yalta.
Experts consider it unlikely that he can also stay at his Black Sea villa in Sochi. Moreover, Putin may be using all the apartments and residences of the military and the presidential administration as hideouts.
Western intelligence services pay attention to nuclear bunker in Samara
According to Western intelligence services, he is also believed to be using a nuclear bunker in Samara. This large city is located on the east bank of the Volga River, 860 km from Moscow.
one of the bathrooms located in the bunker
The Samara bunker was built by Joseph Stalin (d. 1953) during World War II – as a place of refuge in case Moscow was captured.
the conference room in Putin’s bunker
Putin is suspected of flying from place to place on one of his jets (equipped with a transponder to prevent radar from detecting the plane) or being driven around by car.
A car developed specifically for Putin
Putin’s car was developed specifically for the Kremlin leader under the code name “Project Kortesh”. The result is the “Senate Aurus” which is 6.63 meters long, 2 meters wide, 1.70 meters high (Putin gets into it standing up). The 6.5-ton vehicle is powered by a 4.4-liter Porsche V8 engine with 600 horsepower. The car can reach a top speed of 250 km/h (adjustable) and has armor (Kevlar and titanium).
Putin’s plane is a converted Ilyushin 96-300 PU (PU stands for the Russian word for command center), which is also called the flying Kremlin. It is equipped with communications technology and a missile defense system. There is also an emergency capsule for the president in case of emergencies. In addition, there is a fitness room, dining room, showers, and a small first aid station on its deck.
Who else does Putin trust?
There are two people in particular who stand by Putin’s side:
Putin’s most trusted man is Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (66). He is loyal to Putin, spreads his lies, and is considered an all-purpose weapon of the Kremlin despot.
On Thursday, he continued to claim that Russia targets “only military objects” and uses “only high-precision weapons.” He also claims that Russia needs to defend itself against the Western threat and is not occupying Ukrainian territory. Shoigu put the superpower’s nuclear weapons on high alert on Monday (Feb. 28).
The trained engineer has been in the Kremlin for 30 years – longer than Putin himself. Pictures show the two men fishing together in Tuva (Siberia, on the border with Mongolia), the minister’s hometown, during their summer vacation:
The 66-year-old has been named Russia’s Personality of the Year several times.
The Kremlin leader has already benefited from the minister’s help during the 2014 annexation of Crimea, the war in Syria and other armed conflicts (e.g. Libya, Georgia, etc.). Shoigu is Putin’s most important man in the fight against Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
In addition, Putin can count on the support of Chief of General Staff Valeriy Gerasimov (66). He is Putin’s liaison to the military. Gerasimov has spent his entire career in the military, having graduated from officer school in Kazan.
He is Shoygu’s deputy and thus responsible for the operational direction of the war in Ukraine. And he continues there what he already commanded in the Syrian war (since 2015).
In 2021, according to Russian media, he stressed that the Kremlin reserves the right to use nuclear weapons if an aggressor uses them against Russia or if the existence of the Russian state is threatened.