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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Vladimir Putin ‘flees Moscow’ during Wagner mutiny: ‘It’s just around the corner…’ | World News


Russian President Vladimir Putin fled Moscow during a brief mutiny led by Wagner Group CEO Yevgeny Prigo, reports said. Self-exiled former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky told Newsweek he was monitoring the Russian president’s movements during the June 24 Yevgeny Prigozhin rebellion. The Russian leader was flown out of Moscow during the failed coup, likely at his residence in Valdai. He said.

Russia-Ukraine War: See Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Reuters)

He added that Vladimir Putin was largely absent during the mutiny.

Who is Mikhail Khodorkovsky?

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former Russian oil executive who headed energy company Yukos, has since spent a decade in prison in Russia on “politically motivated charges”. He had criticized widespread corruption among Russian leaders in a teleconference in early 2003. In 2013, he was pardoned by Russia’s president but designated a “foreign agent” by the Kremlin.

What does Mikhail Khodorkovsky say about Vladimir Putin?

Mikhail Khodorkovsky said: “We were monitoring Putin at the time. It seems that he did leave Moscow, most likely to Valdai’s residence.”

He said a plane “for Putin’s use only” left Moscow on June 24, bound for northwest Russia. Citing unnamed sources, he said the plane had disappeared from a flight tracker “somewhere near Valdai”.

“The leaders, the various heads of different ministries, in fact, a lot of them left Moscow too. So that’s why I thought at the time that the opposition had a chance. But … Prigozhin’s mutiny quickly melted away. In vain,” he continued.

What other claims are there?

Leonid Nevzlin, a Russian-Israeli businessman who has renounced his Russian citizenship and a Putin critic, tweeted on June 24 that “Putin is hiding in the bunker at the Valdai residence.”

“His closest friends and colleagues were flown there too. Dictator in panic. More troops marching towards Valdai to protect it. My sources just reported this,” he tweeted.

The Ukrainian media Ukrainian Pravda quoted a Kiev intelligence source as saying: “We already have the news that Putin will leave Moscow. “That day, as the mutiny unfolded, Putin fled Moscow and reportedly spent the next 24 hours at his home. “Valdai Manor.”


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