Vladimir Putin has reportedly settled into a secluded palace on “holiday” as widespread protests spread across Russia.
There was strong backlash against the Kremlin’s new plans for partial mobilization.
Up to 300,000 people could be called up to fight while the invasion of Ukraine continues.
Desperate efforts to increase the numbers even resulted in officers showing up at the door of a 40-year-old man – who, it turned out, had actually died in 2020.
Activists fear the mobilization will be coerced in poor ethnic minority regions to avoid sparking further anger in major cities.
Putin is now said to have disappeared into a palace in the Valdai forest, a safe distance from the chaos unleashed by his mobilization announcement.
Journalist Farida Rustamova claims he pre-recorded a series of videos that she will use in the coming days.
Sources say he is “resting” at his home in Valdai – said to be surrounded by peaceful lakes and majestic forests.
His disappearance is likely to spark more rumors about his health.
Ms Rustamova claims a trusted source said “that Putin has been “resting body and soul” at his residence in Valdai in the Novgorod region since last Wednesday evening”.
The residence is said to feature a three-story spa complex with a “personal beauty salon,” nicknamed the “temple of his asceticism.”
Two floors are reportedly an underground area with a cryochamber for extreme cold therapy.
The sprawling lakefront property, previously filmed using drone footage, includes a stable, golf course, miniature golf course, VIP restaurant with cinema, bowling, billiards room and even a mini-casino.
The complex has been called Putin’s “most secret official dacha”.
The Kremlin has denied that Putin was on vacation, but rumors of his “vacation” continued to spread at a rapid pace.
Riot police have already arrested hundreds of protesters in Moscow and St Petersburg, as well as in Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Khabarovsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita and Ivanovo.
The latest arrest total at the time of the stay was 651.
Many Russians have reportedly received phone calls asking them to enlist, or officers have turned up on their doorsteps and ordered men to report for military service.
After Putin’s announcement that civilians would be conscripted to fight in Ukraine, flights to countries that still offer Russians visa-free travel sold out in hours and prices skyrocketed.
Flights from Moscow to Dubai, which would have cost around £181 in January, have risen to more than £8,000 per seat.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/09/24/putin-flees-to-secret-palace-as-wave-of-protests-spread-in-russia-17443595/ Putin flees 'to secret palace' as wave of protests spreads across Russia