Putin will address an economic forum later today in St. Petersburg. He is reportedly becoming increasingly paranoid in the Kremlin
Paranoid security forces guarding Vladimir Putin will disable mobile internet coverage in St. Petersburg when the dictator delivers a speech in the city today.
They fear the signals could be used to target drones in an assassination attempt on the warmonger, which has become a common tactic in Ukraine and, more recently, in cross-border attacks in Russia.
According to sources from the news portal Faridaily, run by journalist Farida Rustamova, the Russian Ministry of Communications has ordered all mobile operators to be blocked.
The move was made “to prevent drones from attacking the forum venue during the plenary session of Putin’s traditional event” – the annual International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, billed as Russia’s Davos equivalent.
In retaliation for the endless rocket attacks by Putin’s troops, Ukraine has launched several drone attacks on Russia.
Paranoid security forces guarding Vladimir Putin (pictured Thursday) will disable mobile internet coverage in St. Petersburg when the dictator delivers a speech in the city today
The Russians blamed Ukraine for the May 3 attacks on the Kremlin.
This was presented by Moscow as an attempt to “assassinate Putin”.
And in late May, a drone strike occurred near Putin’s palatial official residence, Novo-Ogaryovo, near Moscow.
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Footage showed sniffer dogs at today’s venue in St. Petersburg, Putin’s hometown, amid massive security measures.
Putin is to give a “long speech” followed by a discussion.
“We can expect a very comprehensive speech from the head of state,” said his spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“Actually, quite a long speech has been prepared.”
Most Western countries are boycotting the event, which has attracted significant foreign visitors in recent years.
Putin’s planned appearance comes at a time when there are rumors that he is increasingly using a body double for public events for security reasons or because of illness.
Swedish economist Anders Aslund, who has worked as an adviser to both the Russian and Ukrainian governments, told the world: “Putin does not dare to come out in public.” Whenever he appears, there are suspicions that that he is a double.
“Putin seems scared. He built bunkers at his three main residences. He travels around the country on an armored train. And at each of his three main residences he has set up special stations for his personal security.
“The level of paranoia seems almost pathological.”
Both Russia and Ukraine have used drones to conduct precision strikes against enemy units. Difficult to detect, the small, mobile devices can penetrate deep behind enemy lines while allowing their operators to stay well clear of the line of fire.
Both sides have used private quadrocopters to scout enemy positions and drop grenades on soldiers hiding in foxholes or into armored vehicles.
But consumer models typically require a connection to the internet to function, with operators using internet-connected devices and their GPS signals to maneuver them into positions.
They can also be used to direct other, large ammunition to their targets.
After the drone attack on the Kremlin in May, it was reported that Putin was afraid of traveling abroad for fear of an assassination.
The Russians blamed Ukraine for the May 3 attacks on the Kremlin (pictured).
This comes after an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for war crimes allegations in Ukraine obliges every member state to arrest Putin should he bring food into its territory.
There were also rumors of a possible coup against him by Wagner mercenary group warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is increasingly critical of the Russian military and its flagging efforts on the battlefield in Ukraine.
According to “Daily Beast”, citing the Russian independent medium “Verstka”, the Russian head of state has increasingly feared for his life in recent months.
The source said “behind the scenes at the Kremlin” that Putin was reluctant to travel anywhere and that “he had no sense of security”.
He did not travel to Turkey for President Recep Erdogan’s inauguration, nor will he attend an upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization in India in July.
Reports also suggest that since the war began in Ukraine, Putin’s inner circle has steadily shrunk to the point that he refuses to listen to negative war news from his generals.
Kiev’s counteroffensive is making steady progress on at least two fronts in Ukraine, with the country’s military saying on Thursday it had regained control of more than 38 square miles of territory.
Russia’s own advances, meanwhile, have stalled for months as its military efforts focus more on maintaining its defensive positions.
According to Iuliia Osmolovska, director of the GlobSec think tank, Putin shuns any bad news about his military’s campaign and refuses to use the internet.
“As far as we know from reliable sources, Putin hasn’t received real, up-to-date information from the battlefield for some time because he doesn’t want to hear bad news,” she said.
“Second, he doesn’t use the internet, so he doesn’t have any other information to verify the messages he hears,” she added.
Putin has shown signs of paranoia in the past. Weeks before he began his invasion of Ukraine, he was spotted in the Kremlin holding meetings with foreign dignitaries at a giant table, with each party seated at opposite ends. Pictured: Putin (left) meets French President Emmanuel Macron in Moscow on February 7, 2022
Russia on Thursday announced plans to hold elections in occupied parts of Ukraine in just three months. This is Moscow’s latest attempt to signal that it is in control of the south and east of the country, even as Ukraine’s counter-offensive continues.
The Ukrainian attack is at an early stage and military experts believe that the decisive battles are still ahead. But bodies of Russian soldiers and burned-out armored vehicles lining the side of roads in villages recently recaptured by Ukrainian forces bear witness to Kiev’s greatest progress since last year.
“Our heroic people, our troops at the front face very tough resistance,” Zelenskyi told NBC News in an interview in Kyiv. “Because if Russia loses this campaign against Ukraine, I would say that it actually means losing the war.”
According to a partial transcript of the interview, Zelenskyi said the news from the front was “on the whole positive, but it is very difficult.”