Vladimir Putin has been utilizing a particular armoured prepare to journey round Russia as he steps up his private safety amid the war in Ukraine, in response to native media experiences.
The Russian president has had secret railway tracks and stations constructed for his private use, the File Heart investigative web site reported.
The armoured prepare is heavier than regular trains and so has extra axles and numerous highly effective locomotives to tug it.
It boasts a presidential carriage with a research and bed room and a carriage full of refined communications tools.
It value an estimated $13.5 million (£11m) to construct and is utilized by Mr Putin to journey across the nation and to access his private mansions.
The Russian president is claimed to be satisfied that prepare journey is safer than taking planes as a result of flights will be extra simply tracked – and shot out of the sky.
“After the outbreak of the struggle, in February and March (final yr), he started to make use of the [armoured] prepare very actively, particularly to get to his residence in Valday,” a supply near the Kremlin instructed the File Centre investigative web site.
Valday, between Moscow and St Petersburg, is the situation for a luxurious lakeside residence utilized by President Putin.
Of all of the palatial residences at his disposal, it’s mentioned to be his favorite.
The offshore firm that owns the prepare is linked to Yury Kovalchuk, an in depth Putin ally who additionally reportedly manages his dachas and mansions, in response to the File Centre.
The investigative outfit is funded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled former oligarch and critic of the Putin regime.
A separate investigation, by the Proekt (which means ‘Mission’) information web site, claimed that secret railway traces and prepare stations have been constructed to service three of the Russian president’s grand residences.
Satellite tv for pc photographs confirmed what look like a fenced-off prepare station close to a summer season residence within the southern resort of Sochi on the Black Coastline.
Satellite tv for pc footage additionally detected what seems to be a non-public station shut to a different official residence, in Novo-Ogaryovo outdoors Moscow.
There was a 3rd prepare station, closely guarded and with a helipad, close to Mr Putin’s dacha in Valday, Proekt mentioned. When certainly one of its reporters approached the station, a guard instructed them to depart.
The armoured prepare is predicated in a protected, closed-off part of the Kalanchyovskaya railway station in central Moscow. There’s a particular VIP terminal which is surrounded by barbed wire and surveillance cameras.
Whereas there aren’t any official images of the prepare, it has typically been snapped by railway employees and trainspotters.
It’s reportedly painted crimson and gray, colors which make it seem like a standard passenger prepare.
President Putin is highly secretive about his wealth, however is believed to personal a portfolio of properties which can be collectively value hundreds of thousands of kilos.
They allegedly embody the large Gelendzhik Palace, on the Black Coastline, which is reported to be value $1.5 billion (£1.3bn).
Dubbed “Putin’s palace”, it reportedly boasts an enormous swimming pool lined with busts of Greek gods, a on line casino, a theatre and a hookah-smoking lounge with a pole dancing stage.
North Korea’s reclusive and eccentric chief, Kim Jong-un, can be mentioned to make use of a non-public prepare to journey across the Hermit Kingdom. There are reportedly prepare stations reserved for using the Kim household.