Russian President Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow


  • The former Kremlin officer called Putin a 'war criminal' for launching the war against Ukraine
  • Putin forces all employees to quarantine two weeks before stepping into the same room as him
  • Putin does not use the internet and only receives information from people in his inner circle

A top-ranking member of Russian President Vladimir Putin's Federal Guard Service has defected from Moscow after 13 years of service following the invasion of Ukraine.

Gleb Karakulov, the captain of the Kremlin's Federal Guard Service (FSO) and an engineer in the agency's presidential communications unit, left the Kremlin in mid-October last year after Putin, who he called a "war criminal," launched an unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

"In February 2022, a criminal war broke out and I could no longer make compromises with myself. I couldn't remain in the service of this President. I consider him a war criminal. Even though I am not directly involved in the war, it is no longer possible for me to carry out his criminal orders or stay in his service," Karakulov told the investigative website The Dossier Center.

Throughout the interview, Karakulov disclosed details about Putin, including the Russian leader's paranoia over possibly contracting COVID-19. This has led Putin to force all his employees to quarantine for at least two weeks before they can step into the same room as him.

"We have to observe a strict quarantine for two weeks before any event, even those lasting 15 to 20 minutes," he said.

"Everyone has been forced to get vaccinated. Everyone undergoes health screenings, monitors their health, and takes regular tests. I know that all of the President's aides take PCR tests several times a day."

When asked whether Putin is suffering from a severe illness, Karakulov denied the speculation and said the Russian leader is "in better health than many other people his age." Before his remark, Putin was rumored to be suffering from cancer.

In addition, Karakulov revealed Putin does not use smartphones or the internet, noting that the Russian leader only receives information from people in his inner circle. He also said Putin demands that Russian state-run television be available when he goes on foreign trips.

"He doesn't use the Internet or a mobile phone. He only receives information from his closest circle, which means that he lives in an information vacuum," Karakulov said.

The defector also added that Putin is "afraid" of being assassinated, despite having no reports of any attempts on his life.

"That doesn't stop him from being afraid. Why else would he need such a smoke screen," pertaining to bunkers, armored trains and secret railroads being used by the Russian president.

Karakulov is the highest-ranking Kremlin member to have defected from Russia in the country's modern history. The outlet noted that the interview was done late last year and was only published Tuesday after ensuring that Karakulov and his family are in a safe location.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a video address in Moscow