Putin's paranoia: Even the position of a washing machine operator has to be staffed by an officer

Written by Jakob A. Overgaard

Sep.14 - 2023 3:17 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Even the position of a washing machine operator has to be staffed by an officer

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Vladimir Putin has taken his security measures to an unprecedented level, reflecting his growing paranoia amidst the backlash from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

This heightened sense of caution has led to some unconventional security protocols, including stationing a bodyguard next to his washing machine.

Vitaly Brizhatiy, a former security officer who once served in Putin's security detail at a residence in Crimea, has recently shed light on the Russian leader's extreme security measures. During an interview with an independent Russian TV station, Brizhatiy unveiled some astonishing details about the lengths Putin goes to ensure his safety.

In the interview, Brizhatiy revealed that Putin's trust in his own security team is minimal. He even employs armed divers to inspect his private beaches for potential assassins. Brizhatiy remarked, "This is how much he fears for his life. Even the position of washing machine operator had to be staffed by an officer."

Brizhatiy also disclosed that Putin often misled his security team about his whereabouts when in Crimea. He would provide them with false information, leading them to believe he was in one location when he was actually elsewhere. This tactic was a testament to his deep-seated mistrust.

Olivye, Putin's grand palace in the annexed peninsula, was described by Brizhatiy as a luxurious "mini-city." He elaborated, "It's a fantasy place. There are fitness halls, fountains, beautiful parks, tea house barbecue zones, and beaches."

However, since the onset of the war in Ukraine, security at this residence has been significantly bolstered. The number of guard dogs has tripled, and civilian contractors are largely prohibited from entering. Staff members are also mandated to surrender their mobile phones upon arrival.

Another security officer who escaped Russia shared that Putin would deploy decoy motorcades from his residence near Sochi to give the impression he was returning to Moscow, further illustrating his heightened sense of caution.

Putin's increasing paranoia is not without reason. Throughout his tenure in the Kremlin, he is believed to have evaded six assassination attempts. Moreover, in recent months, his public appearances have dwindled.