Putin travelling by train as he fears plane will be ‘shot down’

Vladimir Putin has a meeting with Alexander Lukashenko

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Vladimir Putin’s apparent use of a distinctive armoured train to travel around his country stems from a belief that his plane “can be shot down”, an expert has suggested. Meanwhile Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun has told Express.co.uk the footage proves the Russian President “does not feel safe” and is feeling increasingly isolated.

Ilya Rozhdestvensky, a journalist who works for the Dossier Centre, an investigative unit aimed which tabs on the Kremlin, said Putin has mostly stopped using his presidential plane since the start of the war on February 24, 2022.

He told CNN: “The psychological reason of using this train is that he’s scared.

“He’s scared that he can be tracked, that his plane can be tracked, that his plane can be shot down.”

By contrast, travelling on the train means “nobody will know where he is going”, Mr Rozhdestvensky suggested.

Speaking earlier this week, Ms Sovsun, a former Ukrainian education minister, claimed Putin’s travel arrangements offered an insight into his mindset.

She told Express.co.uk: “The Kremlin is notoriously a very closed institution so we are only making guesses.

“But I do think that he definitely has to rely on a small and smaller group of people.

“His influence is now based on fear not because people recognise him as a force or anything.

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“So it’s kind of a different way how he’s function and definitely and him being like extremely cautious with public appearances, travelling on a highly protective train.

“That definitely doesn’t show that he feels safe.”

Putin’s use of the train appears to offer further evidence of his determination to keep his distance from anyone who might seek to cause him harm.

He was famously pictured sitting at the opposite end of a massive table in the Kremlin when hosting a visit from French counterpart Emmanuel Macron just before the start of the war.

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Additionally, during the course of the coronavirus pandemic, he dressed in a full hazmat suit on a visit to a hospital in March 2020.

There has also been significant speculation about his health, with some suggesting he may even be suffering from cancer or Parkinson’s Disease.

One clip which surfaced yesterday during a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko added fuel to the fire, showing the 70-year-old former KGB officer fidgeting and moving his legs erratically throughout their conversation.

The Tendar twitter page, which monitors the conflict in Ukraine, added: “Putin’s continuing problem to control his legs and arms has been visible again today when he met Lukashenko.

“This man is medically sick. Russia’s losing war will most certainly expedite his worsening condition.”

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