Russian President Vladimir Putin has an escape plan in case Russia loses the war it started in Ukraine, a former speechwriter for the Kremlin chief said on Wednesday.
Abbas Gallyamov, who is also a political analyst, said that a trusted source told him that the Kremlin, since the spring, has been developing a backup plan for a possible defeat in Ukraine, which involves Putin and the senior leadership fleeing in Venezuela.
“I don’t usually retell insider stories, but today I’m going to make an exception. First, I trust the source a lot, and secondly, the information is very safe,” Gallyamov wrote on Telegram.
According to Gallyamov, the project is unofficially called “Noah’s Ark”. Argentina and Venezuela are believed to be among the main options for Putin’s escape, but China was considered in the early stages of talks.
“As the name [Noah’s Ark] implies, it’s about finding new lands to go to in case it gets completely uncomfortable in your homeland,” Gallyamov wrote. The leader’s associates do not rule out that he will lose the war, lose power and be evacuated urgently.
Gallyamov, who has been living in exile in Israel since 2018, said 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 officially resigned from [Rosneft] and now devotes himself entirely to ‘Noah’s Ark,'” Gallyamov wrote, adding that “He has American citizenship and good connections. He graduated from Hayward University in California and worked in BP structures, including in the senior position of director of corporate affairs.
Recall that Kurilin is still listed as Rosneft’s vice president and chief of staff.
“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 plan. They seem to have more than one plan”, concluded Gallyamov.