This is how Putin protects himself from assassins and coups

Bodyguards with bulletproof briefcases and high-powered pistols, look-alikes and food tasters are just a few of the ways Russian President Vladimir is reportedly protecting himself from would-be assassins and coup plotters.

The potential threats against Putin, 69, were step into the limelight Thursday when US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “urged someone in Russia to take this guy out”. commands the deadly invasion Of Ukraine.

But Putin, a former KGB agent who has been in power since taking office in 2000, is apparently obsessed with both his safety and his health – protecting himself from assassins and avoiding COVID-19 at all costs, like them Show efforts he is doing to avoid contracting COVID-19.

Recent photos show him meeting with world leaders and even his own advisors at opposite ends of extremely long tables keep at least 20 feet away between them, and he donned a hazmat suit – complete with a full-face respirator – before visiting a Moscow hospital treating coronavirus patients in April 2020.

Putin’s bodyguards – who call themselves his “musketeers” – form a special unit within the Russian Federal Protection Service, or FSO, whose roots go back to 1881, when Tsar Alexander III. surrounded himself with guards after the assassination of his father by a bomb, revolutionary, according to The Economist.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) is surrounded by bodyguards as he leaves the Europe-Asia Summit (ASEM) in Milan October 17, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is often surrounded by his “musketeers,” who are specialized security forces.
REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C-Front) and acting Governor of Novgorod Region Andrei Nikitin (R) after visiting a state and municipal multipurpose service center.
Vladimir Putin’s bodyguards are reportedly being given cushy government jobs after being laid off from the service.
Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

Much of what has been revealed about the President’s elite security service comes from the Beyond Russia website, which is run by TV-Novosti, a state-funded organization that also monitors the embattled RT propaganda network.

The website says Putin’s bodyguards are handpicked for qualities that include “operational psychology,” physical stamina, and the ability to withstand the cold and not sweat in the heat.

They are reportedly equipped with special briefcases that act as shields to protect Putin and carry Russian-made 9mm SR-1 vector pistols loaded with armor-piercing bullets.

Russian Prime Minister and leader of the ruling United Russia party Vladimir Putin (second from right) and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) attend the tenth congress of the United Russia party in Moscow on Thursday, November 20, 2008.
Russia’s Federal Protection Service is rumored to occasionally use a body double for President Vladimir Putin.
AP Photo/Misha Japaridze

In 2018, a bodyguard was recorded intervening when famed mixed martial artist Conor McGregor put his arm around Putin’s shoulders as they posed for cameras at the World Cup in Moscow.

A video posted on youtube shows the man coming into view briefly to fix McGregor with a steely stare and signal him to stop, prompting the fighter to quickly remove his arm and clasp his hands together in embarrassment. The FSO also reportedly has broad powers to conduct its operations and investigations, including through electronic wiretapping, opening mail, searching homes, impounding vehicles, and detaining and interrogating suspects.

Get the latest Update in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with live coverage of The Post.

According to reports, Putin’s bodyguards will need to be replaced by the age of 35, but they may be rewarded with powerful new posts as regional governors, federal ministers, commanders of special services and presidential administrators.

A security guard escorts Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) during a military ceremony in Moscow February 23, 2015.
A security guard escorts Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) during a military ceremony in Moscow February 23, 2015.

A 2018 exposé from Russia’s Independent Novaya Gazeta Newspaper and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project also revealed how a huge Soviet-era poultry factory outside Moscow was appropriated and its valuable land divided among senior officers of the FSO and the Presidential Security Service.

Among those who benefited from the scam were three former Putin bodyguards who flanked him during an official trip to Helsinki, Finland, in 1999, according to the report.

In 2016, Russia Beyond noted longstanding rumours that the FSO sometimes used a “double of the presidential body” to ensure the safety of Putin, or “Body No. 1”.

A security guard struggles with an umbrella as Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) descends from a plane as he arrives for the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai May 20, 2014.
Vladimir Putin’s security forces are trained to deal with any storm outside.
NG HAN GUAN/AFP via Getty Images

Putin later admitted he was offered a replacement when he made several trips to Chechnya when Russia was fighting separatists there in the early 2000s, but he claimed during a 2020 interview of “rejecting those body doubles” every time the topic came up.

Putin also has someone taste every meal he’s served to make sure he doesn’t get poisoned, according to the founder of the Chef’s Club, a culinary organization whose members represent heads of state and monarchs around the world Cook.

“Tasters still exist, but only in the Kremlin, where a doctor reviews each dish with the chef,” said Gilles Bragard The Telegraph in 2012. This is how Putin protects himself from assassins and coups


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