- Putin’s former aide cited an unnamed source with “insider” information on the whole plan
- High-ranking Russian officials are buying real estate in Venezuela, working on getting residency rights
- Igor Sechin, Putin’s close ally who knows the Venezuelan president well is overseeing the “evacuation project”
With the war in Ukraine floundering, the Kremlin has reportedly drawn up a plan for President Vladimir Putin and his entourage to escape to South America in case Russia implodes after a defeat.
Abbas Gallyamov, a former speechwriter for Putin now living in exile, made the stunning claim on Telegram early Wednesday.
According to Gallyamov, the Kremlin began working on an extreme contingency plan in the spring. Unofficially called “Noah’s Ark,” it will enable Putin to escape from Russia in case the situation in his country turns “uncomfortable” after a potential defeat in Ukraine.
“The leader’s entourage has not ruled out that he will lose the war, be stripped of power, and have to urgently evacuate somewhere,” Gallyamov said in his Telegram post, as translated by Business Insider.
As the name implies, “Noah’s Ark” is about “finding new lands where you can go if the homeland becomes completely uncomfortable,” the post added.
International Business Times was unable to independently verify these claims.
Gallyamov has not worked for Putin since 2010. Living in exile in Israel since 2018, he regularly writes on Russia’s domestic affairs. For the latest post, he cited an unnamed source who had “insider” information on the whole affair being planned.
While an escape to China was considered the first option, Kremlin insiders reportedly decided against it fearing that the chance of Chinese “cooperation” was slim, especially since they despise “losers.”
With China ruled out, the focus shifted to either Argentina or Venezuela. Given that Putin’s close ally Igor Sechin shares a “good personal relationship” with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, he is said to be currently overseeing the “evacuation project,” as per the report.
Meanwhile, high-ranking Russian officials have already begun buying up real estate and working on getting residency rights in Venezuela, an independent Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit reported.
Russian officials are reportedly purchasing property on Venezuela’s Margarita Island confident that they’ll be safe from extradition, as per the outlet. Meanwhile, lower-ranking Russian officials are reportedly seeking residency in Ecuador, Paraguay, and Argentina.
Despite widespread speculation otherwise, Western officials believe the Russian president continues to hold a firm grip on power in Russia.
However, given the high price and questionable gains of his ongoing war in Ukraine, the Kremlin expects to face a significant challenge from those opposing the president. It has led the Kremlin to pursue a large-scale campaign of repression to insulate Putin, stamp out popular unrest, and counter the disgruntled elite in the country.