Russia's tough guy leader Vladimir Putin isn't so brave when it comes to swimming, eating or even operating his own washing machine because of his wild superstitions, according to former aides.
It was reported yesterday (September 14), that the Kremlin chief sends armed divers into the water on his private beaches to secure the area, as well as a foot patrol ring around him to guard against assassination attempts.
That's according to Vitaly Brizhaty, a former member of Putin's security who is in self-imposed exile in Ecuador, in an interview with the independent Russian television station TV Rain.
READ MORE: How does Kim Jong Un's bulletproof train stack up to pal Putin's 'Ghost' locomotive
But even wilder on the superstition scales is Briżaty's claim that one of Putin's bodyguards works as a washing machine operator in a palace located in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March 2014.
He said: “This is how much he fears for his life."
O2 in Poland put it like 'a war criminal is afraid of his own shadow.'
The former guard also revealed that Putin maintains a level of mistrust even towards his own security personnel. Brizhaty claimed that the Russian leader frequently provides false information about his whereabouts and travel plans, deliberately keeping his security team guessing.
This deliberate misinformation creates a state of uncertainty among his guards.
“People were told ‘he’s resting at the dacha’ and everybody is running around guarding him but he could be in another place altogether,” he said.
Gleb Karakulov, who served as a captain in the Federal Protection Service (FSO), a powerful body tasked with protecting Russia’s highest-ranking officials, said earlier this year that the 70-year-old is “pathologically afraid for his life”.
Putin and Kim Jong-un gave each other 'personalised guns' as gifts during talks
Karakulov claimed that Mad Vlad uses a secret train network because it “cannot be tracked on any information resource." and "It’s done for stealth purposes.”
The network reportedly has lines near Putin’s residences in Novo-Ogaryovo in the Moscow region, and near his Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The defector, who travelled with top officials over 180 times, described a virtual state within a state at Putin's 'bunkers' that includes firefighters, food testers and other engineers who travel with the president on his trips abroad.
Putin did not use a mobile phone or the internet, Karakulov said, instead getting all of his information from his direct circle.
WW3 nearly sparked by Russian pilot who tried shooting down RAF spy plane
It has also been widely reported that Putin's meals are all prepared and tasted by a member of his security staff to ensure it's not poisoned.
He reportedly boosted his team of food tasters, paranoid that he will be targeted for a revenge poisoning following the Sergei Skripal attack in March 2018.
One source told the Daily Star in 2018 that the storm around the Salisbury poisoning was "driving him to a mad level of paranoia".
Putin has also reportedly taken to wearing special gloves to stop any chemicals or agents being ingested through his skin.
And the pool where he swims for two hours a day is repeatedly tested to make sure nothing has been added to the water.
For the latest stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here .
Source: Read Full Article