Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s intense fear for his own personal safety extends to the point where he trusts no one – not even his own security personnel.
This revelation comes from Vitalii Brizhatyi, a former officer of Russia’s Federal Security Service or FSO, who resigned from his post and then relocated to Ecuador with his family.
In an exclusive interview with independent Russian television channel Dozhd, Brizhatyi shed light on his experiences as a canine handler for the FSO, specifically detailing his role in guarding Putin’s secret residence near Olyva in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea.
Olyva, which is about 5 kilometers to the east of the resort town of Foros on the southwestern Crimean coast, is a hamlet of luxury villas, one featuring a large swimming pool, set on a densely wooded hillside. A tennis court and helicopter landing pad are visible on satellite imagery next to the luxurious villa with the swimming pool.
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Brizhatyi also disclosed that he was responsible for securing the secret residences in Crimea of Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev, and the head of the Federal Security Service, Alexander Bortnikov, which are in close proximity to Putin’s residence.
According to Brizhatyi, Putin’s distrust extends even to his own security personnel, who often remain uninformed about his precise whereabouts. Brizhatyi said, “They might inform the guards protecting Putin: ‘He’s resting at this residence,’ and all personnel would rush to secure it, while Putin could be at an entirely different location.”
Brizhatyi went on to reveal that during Putin’s visits to Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea, his arrival was simultaneously announced at two airports, Sevastopol and Simferopol, both more than 100 kilometers apart. However, Putin might even have opted for an entirely different mode of transportation, including sea travel.
“This illustrates the extent to which Putin fears for his life,” Brizhatyi said.
The FSO officer, who had previously resided in Kamchatka, relocated to occupied Crimea with his Crimean wife. There, he joined the Special Purpose Mobile Unit of the National Guard or OMON, and later assumed the role of a canine instructor within the FSO, tasked with guarding Putin’s, Medvedev’s, and Bortnikov’s residences along the southern coast of Crimea.
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He detailed his intention to resign from his position following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. According to Brizhatyi, FSO personnel were strictly prohibited from communicating with Ukrainian relatives, citizens of the United States, the European Union, or anyone opposing the war, under the threat of criminal prosecution.
Brizhatyi said that many of his colleagues at the FSO had eagerly anticipated the occupation of Ukraine, hoping for expanded job opportunities and new positions to guard.
However, Brizhatyi became disenchanted with Putin after the invasion. Reportedly, initial attempts to leave his post were met with resistance, with threats of deployment to the front lines.
Ultimately, Brizhatyi secured a foreign passport and, along with his wife, obtained a residency permit in Ecuador. Subsequently, he was relieved of his duties in the FSO. Reflecting on his departure, he recalled, “The last words I heard as I left were, ‘Good luck on the front!’”
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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine