Paranoid Putin hides in bunkers to dodge assassination bids and is terrified of dying of Covid, says his ex-bodyguard

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PARANOID Putin burrows away in his bunkers to dodge assassination attempts and contracting Covid, his ex-bodyguard has claimed.

Gleb Karakulov, 35, said the tyrant turned into a recluse after becoming obsessed with securing his safety – and being rattled by fears the West are bugging his calls.

East2WestGleb Karakulov, 35, says Putin has become a recluse as he descends into paranoia[/caption]

East2WestThe former bodyguard has fled to safety after denouncing the President’s war on Ukraine[/caption]

GettyHe alleged Putin has been holing himself up in bunkers to dodge assassination attempts[/caption]

The captain in the Federal Guard Service, known as the FGS or FSO, has fled Russia to safety after dishing the dirt on Putin‘s regime.

He branded the Russian President a “war criminal” and claimed he has brainwashed his minions to “worship him in every way.”

But as Putin tries to keep a grip on his power, Karakulov claims he is also battling his own inner demons in complete isolation.

He alleged that the warlord now opts to stay “in his bunker” rather than make trips like he used to – fuelling rumours that the 70-year-old sends body doubles in his place.

Putin has placed himself on “lockdown” to minimise the risk of his potential execution and in the hopes of fending off Covid.

Karakulov’s bombshell revelations were published by Dossier independent media, who claim he is the highest-ranking defector so far from Putin’s immediate security circle. 

The engineer was in the presidential communications directorate and reportedly had access to Putin’s personal communications.

He has now urged the Russian people to wake up and realise that the President “has lost touch with the world” while hiding away.

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

The former protection officer, who worked directly under Putin, claims he witnessed the despot’s descent into paranoia firsthand.

He explained: “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.”

He claims the Russian leader is so convinced that the West are infiltrating his communications that he takes a special box with him on foreign trips to prevent his secret talks from leaking. 

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

Karakulov 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.”

The Kremlin have already banned iPhones amid fears they can be hacked by CIA and GCHQ spies.

Karakulov said: “I mean, in all my years of service, I haven’t seen him once with a mobile phone.

“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.”

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

But instead of arriving in style, the President is now increasingly using the train “because it is less conspicuous.”

“Planes show up on certain [databases],” Karakulov said. “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 alleged that Putin heavily relies on his close-knit circle of FSO guards, headed by his loyal henchman Viktor Zolotov, for updates on the outside world.

They reportedly “call him the Boss, worship him in every way and only ever talk of him in those terms.”

But this means the warlord’s knowledge of events is filtered via the secret services – and what he watches on state-controlled Russian TV.

Those who come in close proximity to Putin to fill his ear must self-quarantine for two weeks, Karakulov claimed.

He said that his former boss is “mortally afraid” of Covid and is isolating himself for the fourth year.

Yet he says 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.

Karakulov continued: “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.”

But the Federal Guard Service has a strict no talking shop policy – and daren’t discuss rumours regarding Putin’s alleged terminal illness.

Bombshell spy documents leaked to The Sun appeared to confirm Putin has pancreatic cancer and early-stage Parkinson’s disease.

Karakulov told Dossier: “It was not something my colleagues discussed.

“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 is in better health than many other people his age. He has annual medical checkups.”

The defector 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.

Karakulov called on his fellow officers to come forward with evidence to out Putin as a “war criminal” and stop “the genocide of the Ukrainian people.”

In a heartfelt appeal, he said: “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.

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

Karakulov said the invasion of Ukraine “is simply beyond comprehension” as the number of bodies continues to mount.

He said: “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.

“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. 

Karakulov’s wife and daughter escaped separately also via Kazakhstan and Istanbul, as he did.

“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!’”

Karakulov is under investigation in Russia for “desertion.”

East2WestKarakulov claims Putin is terrified about the West bugging his conversations[/caption]

ReutersHe described the Russian President as a ‘war criminal’[/caption]

East2WestThe 35-year-old confirmed the despot owns the swanky private yacht Scheherazad[/caption]

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