By Chris King • 24 September 2022 • 20:39
Despite denials from the Kremlin today, Saturday, September 24, it is being claimed that Vladimir Putin left Moscow last Wednesday 21, and headed for a ‘vacation’ in his secret lakeside holiday residence. This claim was made by independent journalist Farida Rustamova on her Telegram channel, who said she received the information from three trusted sources familiar with Putin’s schedules.
Putin is known to have a palatial four-storey getaway in the northern Novgorod Region of the country, on the banks of Lake Valdai. Videos that have shown the Russian leader meeting with officials were pre-recorded to give the illusion he was still in Moscow added Rustamova.
His luxurious ‘palace’ is said to be around halfway between the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, hidden among the forests of Valdai Hills.
It is thought he exited Moscow amid the rising chaos in Russian cities following his mobilisation decree last Wednesday, September 21. There has been a wave of anti-mobilisation protests in more than a dozen cities across the country since the president’s decree to mobilise 300,000 reservists to be deployed to Ukraine was announced.
These demonstrations have been met with a no-nonsense approach by the police and security services. According to the independent monitoring group OVD-Info, at least 700 people are already thought to have been detained.
Images and video footage posted on social media show Russian riot cops dealing with protesters. many of those arrested could find themselves subjected to prison sentences of up to 15 years if they are judged to have discredited the armed forces or Putin himself.
One-way flights out of Russia are already reportedly sold out, or if any remain, they are being sold at extortionate prices as men try to avoid being conscripted into the military. On the borders with neighbouring countries like Kazakhstan there have been huge traffic jams reported for the same reason, with some drivers abandoning their vehicles to continue on foot.
Security services in Belarus – which shares an open border with Russia – have been instructed to track down any Russian males believed to have crossed over in an attempt to avoid the draft.
Not every nation is happy to help these males escape the mobilisation. Germany vowed to allow Russian conscientious objectors in, while the Czech Republic stated it would not issue any humanitarian visas. Charles Michel, the EU Council president yesterday, Friday 23, advised all states to offer sanctuary to Russian men escaping Putin’s draft.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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