Former speechwriter explains where Putin can flee if he loses war in Ukraine

    WORLD  08 December 2022 - 10:15

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has an escape plan in place in the event Russia loses the war it started in Ukraine in February, a former speechwriter for the Kremlin chief said on December 7.

    Abbas Gallyamov, who is also a political analyst, said a trusted source told him that the Kremlin has, since the spring, been developing a backup plan for a potential defeat in Ukraine, which involves Putin and his top leadership fleeing to Venezuela, Newsweek reports.

    "I usually don't retell insider stories, but today I will make an exception. Firstly, I trust the source too much, and secondly, the information is very juicy," Gallyamov wrote on his Telegram channel.

    According to Gallyamov, the project has been unofficially named "Noah's Ark". Argentina and Venezuela are allegedly among the top options for Putin to flee to, but China was considered in the early stages of talks.

    "As the name [Noah's Ark] implies, it is about finding new lands where you can go in case it becomes completely uncomfortable in your homeland," wrote Gallyamov.

    "The leader's entourage does not exclude that he will lose the war, lose power and he will have to urgently evacuate somewhere."

    Gallyamov, who has been living in exile in Israel since 2018, said his source told him that Yury Kurilin, the vice president and chief of staff of Russian energy company Rosneft, is "the man on the ground" making all the arrangements for a potential evacuation to Venezuela.

    "In the summer, he formally resigned from [Rosneft] and now devoted himself entirely to the 'Noah's Ark,'" Gallyamov wrote. "He has American citizenship and good connections. He graduated from Hayward University in California [and] worked in BP structures, including in the high position of director of corporate affairs."

    A search by Newsweek found Kurilin was still listed as Rosneft's vice president and chief of staff on sites including the Wall Street Journal's company profile page.

    "Unfortunately, my source does not know any other details, however, what has been said is enough to understand: when they [Russia] say that 'everything is going according to plan,' it makes sense to clarify which one. They seem to have more than one plan," Gallyamov concluded.

    Newsweek reached out to Rosneft and Russia's Foreign Ministry for comment.

    Caliber.Az

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