With the assistance of three U.S. sources, the AP also independently verified Karakulov’s identity. S. and Europe and verified his personal information, including his passport numbers, date of birth, two registered addresses, and family members’ names and ages. The AP was unable to confirm all the information regarding his defection.
Who is Gleb Karakulov?
Gleb Karakulov, a Russian engineer, and his wife and daughter travelled to Turkey on a flight that left Kazakhstan on October 14. He turned off his phone to avoid the barrage of urgent, angry messages, bid Russia farewell, and attempted to calm his racing heart. However, this Russian defector was not your typical one. One of the few Russians to defect and go public with rank and knowledge of private details of President Vladimir Putin’s life and possibly classified information was Karakulov, an officer in Putin’s elite personal security service.
He declared, “Our president has turned into a war criminal. “We need to stop being silent and end this war. The portrayal of the Russian president as a formerly charismatic but now more reclusive leader who refuses to use a cell phone or the Internet and insists on accessing Russian state television wherever he goes is broadly supported by Karakulov’s account. He added new information about how Putin’s paranoia seems to have grown since his decision to invade Ukraine in February 2022.
The first time Karakulov had made such a request, Putin stated that he now prefers to travel by special armoured train instead of aeroplanes and ordered a bunker at the Russian embassy in Kazakhstan outfitted with a secure communication line in October. An official with security experience in a NATO nation who spoke anonymously about delicate political issues said that a defector like Karakulov “is of very high interest.”. “It would be seen as a severe blow to the president himself because he is very concerned about his security, which is at risk,” he said. Requests for comment from the Kremlin were delayed. Engineer Karakulov was responsible for setting up safe communications for the Russian president wherever they went. He was a part of the Federal Protective Service’s (FSO) field unit for the Presidential Communications Department. Karakulov worked for Putin for years, from 2009 until the end of 2022, even though he wasn’t a close confidant.
Security constraints prevented direct communication with Karakulov, his wife, and their child because they went underground. The Associated Press, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR, Sweden, and The Dossier Center, a London-based investigative organization funded by Russian opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky, spoke with Karakulov several times and received the video of more than six hours of interviews. SVT Television and NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. The Dossier Center verified Karakulov’s passport and FSO work ID as genuine and compared the information on his resume with Russian government records, leaked personal information, and social media posts, all of which AP reviewed.