Conversations with Russian soldiers about what it's like to work for Vladimir Putin have often been seen, read, or heard.
Now, Vitaliy Bryzhatiy, a former employee of the Federal Protective Service, who guarded Putin's dacha in annexed Crimea, has spoken out.
In an interview with independent television channel Dozhd, he revealed that the Kremlin leader trusts no one, not even his bodyguards. Bryzhatiy fled the country following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"Vladimir Putin doesn't trust anyone, not even the bodyguards who may not know his exact whereabouts," said Vitaliy Bryzhatiy to Dozhd.
"They might be told that the president is resting at a particular location. Everyone runs around, there's confusion, but he could be somewhere else entirely at that time," he added.
In the conversation, he admitted that within the Federal Protective Service, there is a special unit called SBP (President's Security Service). Putin trusts this unit the most, and they accompany him on all trips.
Before Putin's visit to Crimea, his arrival is announced simultaneously at two airports—Sevastopol and Simferopol (over 100 kilometers apart). Helicopters land, National Guard convoys arrive, but the president might not come by plane at all. He could arrive by other means, such as by sea, he explained.
He emphasized that "the security of the Russian president is at the highest level because he is very concerned about his life."
When Putin visited Sevastopol, the local governor spent several weeks in one of the state dachas, undergoing quarantine. "This has not changed," he added.