Dossier Center published an interview with a captain of the Federal Guard Service (FSO), who worked as an engineer in the presidential communications directorate and fled abroad in October 2022. Notably, Gleb Karakulov, 35, is the highest-ranking member of the Russian security services who fled the country after the start of a full-scale war in Ukraine and condemned the invasion.
In October, Karakulov, whose duties included managing Vladimir Putin's secret communications, accompanied him on a trip to Astana. On the last day of the trip, the officer flew to Istanbul with his wife and daughter, who had secretly joinedhim in the Kazakh capital. In Russia, Karakulov was criminally prosecuted for desertion and his relatives' homewas searched.
During an interview with Dossier late last year, the officer stated that he could no longer continue working for the government following the onset of the war.
In February of this year, a criminal war broke out and I found myself unable to reconcile my conscience with continuing to serve. I hold the president responsible for the war and consider him to be a war criminal. While I was not directly involved in the hostilities, I could not bring myself to carry out his criminal orders or remain in his service.”
In the interview, Karakulov confirmed that Putin does not use the Internet or cell phones, and gets his information mostly from reading intelligence reports and watching Russian TV channels.
“His sources of information are limited to those who are in close proximity to him, leaving him in an information vacuum. <…> He has been residing in what the media havedubbed “bunkers” for the past few years, surrounded by an impenetrable barrier of quarantines and lack of information. The president has become increasingly isolated and paranoid, with a pathological fear for his own safety, as well as that of his family and friends. He doesn't care about the lives of your loved ones.”
Karakulov confirmed that everyone in contact with Putin has to undergo a quarantine.
Before any event, even if it is only 15 or 20 minutes long, we have to undergo a two-week quarantine, which is deemed a serious matter. A group of employees who have completed this quarantine process are considered “clean” and are allowed to work directly in the same room as Putin. <…> Despite everyone being vaccinated and receiving frequent health examinations and PCR tests, it remains a mystery why such strict quarantine measures are still in place. I am aware that the president's aides take PCR tests multiple times per day.”
Karakulov also said that from the outside, Putin's special train looks like an ordinary Russian Railroad train, and Putin uses itfor the sake of secrecy, because the movements of the train are more difficult to track than those of an airplane.