He Once 'Saved' Putin from a Bear Attack: Now Putin Has Promoted Him to Special Assistant

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.14 - 2024 3:53 PM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
A dramatic bear rescue catapults a former bodyguard into the Kremlin's inner circle.

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A startling encounter with a brown bear may not typically lead to a political promotion, but for Alexei Dyumin, a former bodyguard of Vladimir Putin, such an incident has indeed paved his path to becoming the Russian president's special assistant.

Once tasked with physically protecting Putin, Dyumin now finds himself in a position that places him at the heart of Kremlin politics.

It was during a secretive retreat in the mountains when a brown bear threatened the safety of President Putin. Dyumin, armed and vigilant, faced the wild animal, preventing a potential attack.

Recounting the event, Dyumin described a tense standoff where, with Putin upstairs, he managed to scare off the bear by firing his pistol.

"The bear and I looked into each other’s eyes, and he stepped back a little. I opened the door and emptied the entire cartridge of my pistol under his feet,” Dyumin shared according to Daily Star, reflecting on his regret for frightening the animal.

Dyumin's career trajectory has been as dramatic as his encounter with the bear.

From leading a covert operation in 2014 to rescue ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych to serving as the governor of the Tula region, Dyumin has held various significant military and governmental roles.

His latest appointment as Putin's special assistant is seen by many as a strategic move, placing him in an influential position within the Russian government's inner circle.

Speculations About a Successor

Dyumin’s elevation to this high-profile role has ignited speculations about his potential future as Putin's successor. His loyalty and proven track record in both security and administrative capacities make him a strong contender in the opaque world of Russian politics.

In addition to Dyumin, Putin has also appointed Nikolai Patrushev, a veteran spymaster and a figure deeply entrenched in Russian security systems, as another assistant.

Known for his pivotal role in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Patrushev's appointment underscores the Kremlin's focus on enhancing its strategic and security frameworks.

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