Vladimir Putin has promoted one of his longtime bodyguards to a new minister position, suggesting the Russian leader is becoming increasingly more paranoid of those ordered to protect him, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Major-General Alexander Kurenknov, Putin’s former bodyguard, was appointed to Emergencies Minister on Tuesday just months after the former Emergencies Minister, Yevgeny Zinichev, died under mysterious circumstances after allegedly falling off a 90ft waterfall in September.
The promotion of Kurenknov also marks the sixth of Putin’s bodyguards to be promoted to a high position within the Kremlin, suggesting the 69-year-old Russian leader is becoming more paranoid and only feels safe amongst those who have a long and loyal history of protecting his life.
“Putin knows him well personally,” Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said regarding Kurenknov’s new promotion. “And the choice means that, according to the head of the state, Kurenkov’s personal, service and professional qualities will allow him to serve in this function.”
While it took Putin nearly six months to fill the Emergencies Minister position following Zinichev’s mysterious death in September, sources close to the Russian president claim Putin is still distraught over the minister’s death – so much so that Putin reportedly described Zinichev’s passing as an “irreplaceable personal loss.”
But although Zinichev’s death was ultimately ruled an accident, others familiar with the situation believe Zinichev was actually murdered.
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“I will say right away that it was not the death, but the murder, of the general,” Russian Professor Valery Solovey said about the mysterious and strange circumstances surrounding the late minister’s death. “He did not die alone, several other people died with him.”
As RadarOnline.com reported, the promotion of Kurenknov and Putin’s allegedly increasing paranoia come amid rumors that those closest to the Russian president are planning to assassinate the leader after his failure to successfully take Ukraine after sending forces in more than three months ago.
"He's all about staying in power,” General Keane, who previously worked as the Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, recently said about a possible coup or assassination attempt against Putin. “That's his motivation. He will do anything to stay in power.”
"The alternative, he knows full well, by a successor who doesn't agree with him, could mean the end of him – his demise,” Keane continued. "He's fighting to stay in power and he's determined, I think, to still accomplish his goals even though his focus is in the south [of Ukraine].”
"He has no future beyond him being the president of Russia. That's a fact."