WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Abbas Gallyamov, former speechwriter for Russian President Vladimir Putin, claimed that the country’s top officials have an escape plan for the worst-case scenario.
- Gallyamov cited insider sources that Putin’s inner circle has been setting up shop in Venezuela.
- Several senior officials have bought property on Venezuela’s Margarita Island, confident that they will be safe from extradition there.
A former aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the president and his top officials have set up an escape plan in case everything goes sideways.
Putin’s former speechwriter, Abbas Gallyamov, cited an unnamed source with “insider” information on a Telegram post early Wednesday.
Gallyamov wrote that the plan, unofficially called “Noah’s Ark,” was started back in spring. He added, “As the name implies, it’s about a search for new land to go to in case it becomes completely uncomfortable in the homeland. The leader’s entourage has not ruled out that he will lose the war, be stripped of power, and have to urgently evacuate somewhere.”
China was reportedly the first choice of Putin’s inner circle, but later reconsidered. Gallyamov stated that Chinese “cooperation” could be unlikely since they abhor “losers.” They have since shifted to either Venezuela or Argentina.
The plan for Venezuela, overseen by Putin ally Igor Sechin, has progressed so far that Sechin’s right-hand man “formally resigned” from the oil giant Rosneft to manage “on-site work.”
Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit cited a Rosneft source and two sources close to the administration that senior officials have already started purchasing real estate and obtaining residency rights in Venezuela. Meanwhile, lower-ranking officials have sought residency in Argentina, Ecuador, and Paraguay.
According to a source, Russian officials have particularly focused on setting up property on Venezuela’s Margarita Island and have expressed confidence that they will be safe from extradition there.
Gallyamov noted that “when they say ‘everything is going according to plan,’ it’s worth asking which one. They seem to have many more than one plan.”
Putin has been dismissing reports of record-low morale among Russian troops as it has been nine months since the war in Ukraine started. There have been several recent reports of draftees fleeing en masse over ignored complaints of low-quality supplies and equipment. Soldiers’ relatives have also called out what has been labeled as a “special military operation.”
On Wednesday, Putin claimed that there have been “no problems with desertion.” He added, “There were isolated incidents, but on the whole, there’s nothing like that. … Are there people who leave their positions? Yes, that has happened. It’s happening less and less.”
Meeting with members of the country’s human rights council, he denied the existence of “camps” that forcibly detained hundreds of Russian defectors, calling such reports “fake.”
Putin insisted that war is a “long process.” He then touted the seizure of new Ukrainian territories while refusing to mention that Ukraine has claimed several back. He also emphasized the prospects of a nuclear war, stating, “Such a threat is growing. Why deny it?”
Source: Yahoo! News