Vladimir Putin has a secret plan in place to flee Russia if they lose the war in Ukraine, a former speechwriter of the Russian president has claimed.
The president's executive committee has been putting together an escape plan, which has been unofficially named "Noah's Ark", since spring and has been considering evacuation locations including Argentina, Venezuela and China.
This is according to Abbas Gallyamov, a former Putin ally-turned-political analyst who wrote speeches for the Kremlin leader from 2008 to 2010 and now resides in Israel.
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Making the claim on his Telegram earlier this week, he said that the information came from a trusted source, adding: "I usually don't retell insider stories, but today I will make an exception."
Detailing the plan, he wrote: "As the name [Noah's Ark] implies, it is about finding new lands where you can go if the homeland becomes completely uncomfortable. The leader’s entourage does not exclude that he will lose the war, lose power and he will have to urgently evacuate somewhere."
Gallyamov claims that China was the initial country proposed for Putin to flee to, with the idea put forward by Mikhail Kovalchuk, a Russian scientist and official who is the president of the country's main nuclear research centre.
But those plans were later shot down due to little hope for cooperation with the country in the event of needing to escape because China doesn't like "losers".
He went on to claim that Argentina and Venezuela are now both being considered as a "promising platform".
Gallyamov said that he doesn't know any further details about a potential plan to escape to Argentina, but that Igor Sechin, a Russian oligarch and close ally of Putin, is supervising a project to flee to Venezuela.
Gallyamov said: "He has a good personal relationship with Maduro [the president of Venezuela] and it is to him that the curatorship of the evacuation project is now transferred."
The former speechwriter also claimed that Yury Kurilin, the former vice president of Russian oil company Rosneft, has "devoted himself entirely" to helping with the escape plan.
He said: "As I was told, Yury Kurilin, the right hand of the head of Rosneft, is directly involved in the on-site work; a person who, until recently, was in charge of the company's apparatus. In the summer, he formally resigned from there and now devoted himself entirely to the 'Noah's Ark'.
"He has American citizenship and good connections. He graduated from Hayward University in California, worked in BP structures, including in the high position of director of corporate affairs."
Gallyamov said he didn't have any other details about the secret project but added: "What has been said is enough to understand: when they say that “everything is going according to plan”, it makes sense to clarify which one.
"They seem to have more than one plan."
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