Russian Vladimir Putin and his cronies already have a plan in place to flee the country once things go wrong, a former aide to the Russian president has claimed.
Abbas Gallyamov, a former Putin speechwriter, made the stunning claim on Telegram early Wednesday, citing an unnamed source he said had “insider” information about the whole affair.
The escape plan, according to Gallyamov, began in the spring, when it was unofficially dubbed “Noah’s Ark.”
“As the name suggests, it’s about finding a new land to go to in case it gets completely uncomfortable in the homeland. The leader’s entourage did not rule out that he would lose the war, be removed from his post and have to urgently evacuate somewhere,” Gallyamov wrote.
Putin’s inner circle first considered an evacuation plan to China, Gallyamov said, but then thought it over, fearing the chances of the Chinese “cooperating” were slim, especially since they despise “losers”. Now, he said, the focus has shifted to Argentina or Venezuela, with Putin ally Igor Sechin currently overseeing an evacuation plan for the latter country.
Explosive ‘presidential lockdown order’ leak rocks Kremlin
The plan is so advanced, Gallyamov said, that Sechin’s “right arm” at Rosneft has “officially resigned” from the oil giant to take care of “on-site work”.
Citing two sources close to the presidential administration and a source at Rosneft, the Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit also reports that senior officials have already started buying real estate and working to obtain residency rights in Venezuela. According to this report, people below the totem pole of the presidential administration and the Russian government seek to reside in Ecuador, Paraguay and Argentina.
In particular, a source was quoted as saying Russian officials have seized property on Venezuela’s Margarita Island, where they are confident they will be safe from extradition.
“Venezuela’s Margarita Island is their local Courchevel,” the source said, comparing the potential Kremlin hideout to the famous ski resort in the French Alps.
Conceding he didn’t have more details, Gallyamov said the mere fact of an escape plan “is enough to understand” that “when they say ‘everything is going according to plan’, it’s worth asking They seem to have more than one plan.
His bombshell claims came as the Russian leader downplayed reports of record morale among Russian troops, tired of his incipient war nine months after it began. A myriad of reports have emerged in recent weeks of conscripts fleeing their bases in droves after their complaints about shoddy equipment and supplies were ignored. And the rise of soldiers’ relatives publicly denouncing the so-called “special military operation” has even led some experts to suggest this could be the tipping point for an outright civil war.
According to Putin, however, all is well.
“There are no problems with desertions in the area of [special military operation]. There have been isolated incidents, but overall there is nothing like it. … Are there people leaving their posts? Yes, it happened. This is happening less and less,” Putin said Wednesday during a meeting with members of the country’s human rights council.
He also denied reports from human rights groups that ‘camps’ had been set up where hundreds of Russian defectors were forcibly detained in basements, saying the reports were ‘false’ .
Warning that war is likely to be a “long process,” Putin then praised the seizure of new Ukrainian territory (while failing to mention that Ukraine has already reclaimed some) and offered an ominous perspective on the prospects for a nuclear war.
“Such a threat is growing. Why deny it?
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