A month after the start of the war in Ukraine and with Russian troops showing no mercy to the civilian population, Vladimir Putin is living in a parallel world. The president, given his past as a spy for the KGB, wants to control everything and fears for his security.
During the war, Russia has been accused of countless war crimes, including the use of unauthorised weapons and executions of civilians.
All of this has been orchestrated by Putin who, according to the BBC, has increased his security amid fears of attacks against him. The Russian Presidential Security Service, which reports to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSO), is responsible for his protection and that of his entourage.
How Putin is protecting himself since the outbreak of war
Among the many measures that the Russian leader has in place, the fact that his entourage is divided into four circles stands out.
The first is made up of his bodyguards, the second of guards who go unnoticed in public, the third is in charge of surrounding the perimeter, and the last is made up of snipers posted on building tops.
The BBC has also revealed that Vladimir Putin does not like helicopters, so he travels in a motorcade of motorcyclists, black cars and trucks. On his way, traffic is stopped and any drones are prevented from flying over the area.
To reinforce his security, Putin has his own personal ‘army’, known as Rosgvardia and supported by the Russian National Guard.
“It’s a huge number, security units for presidents in the US are nowhere near that number,” Stephen Hall, an academic expert on Russia at the University of Bath in the UK, told the BBC.
Given the scale of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin trusts no one and fears he will be poisoned. For this reason, the president has his own taster, who is responsible for tasting food before he does.
Such is the former KGB spy’s obsession that, at toasts, he usually drinks from a bottle brought to him by his team and not from the one drunk by the rest, as Mark Galeotti explains in BBC’s Mark Galeotti.
Another sign that Putin‘s paranoia has only increased with each passing day is that he does not use mobile phones or the internet. He is afraid of being tracked…