The Russian colonel who used to carry the nuclear briefcase of Russian president Vladimir Putin has been shot at his home near Moscow.
Vadim Zimin, the retired 53-year-old colonel, was shot at his home and is now gravely ill in intensive care, reports say.
Colonel Zimin had been in charge of the nuclear briefcase during his time as an active member of the Federal Security Service, accompanying the Kremlin leader and carrying his nuclear warhead controls.
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The colonel, alongside former President Boris Yeltsin, was said to have carried out the trusted role for the current Russian president, handling the world-ending suitcase for the 69-year-old Russian leader.
Zimin had been a member of the FSS, rising through the ranks until he landed himself the position of colonel under his successor Vladimir Putin.
But the precise role of the gravely ill colonel is as yet unknown, with the ex-KGB spy found with gunshot wounds in the kitchen of his flat located in Krasnogorsk, Moscow.
The wife of Zimin, a medic, had been absent from the house as she is reportedly treating soldiers fighting in the invasion of Ukraine.
The 53-year-old colonel was under house arrest over allegations of bribe-taking after joining the customs service in a senior role, with Zimin denying any wrongdoing.
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Colonel Zimin was discovered at the apartment by his brother, who was reportedly in the bathroom at the time of the shooting, seeing the 53-year-old in a pool of blood with a wound to the head.
He says that the elusive colonel, who was rarely photographed, was found injured with an Izh 79-9TM pistol lying nearby.
During his time alongside Putin, the colonel was said to be a knowing taunt toward western powers, lugging around a briefcase said to contain nuclear codes in most public appearances.
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