The Russian colonel who was carrying Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear briefcase was shot dead at his home near Moscow.
Vadim Zimin, the 53-year-old retired colonel, was shot dead in his home and is now critically ill in intensive care, according to reports.
Colonel Zimin had been in charge of the nuclear briefcase during his time as an active member of the Federal Security Service, accompanying the head of the Kremlin and carrying his orders for nuclear warheads.
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The colonel, alongside former President Boris Yeltsin, is said to have played the trusted role of the current Russian president, handling the doomsday suitcase for the 69-year-old Russian leader.
Zimin had been a member of the FSS, rising through the ranks until he landed the post of colonel under his successor Vladimir Putin.
But the precise role of the seriously ill colonel is still unknown, the ex-KGB spy having been found with gunshot wounds in the kitchen of his apartment located in Krasnogorsk, Moscow.
Zimin’s wife, a doctor, was away from home as she would treat soldiers fighting during the invasion of Ukraine.
The 53-year-old colonel was under house arrest over corruption allegations after joining the customs service in a senior position, with Zimin denying any wrongdoing.
Colonel Zimin was discovered at the apartment by his brother, who was said to have been in the bathroom at the time of the shooting, seeing the 53-year-old in a pool of blood with a head wound.
He says the elusive, rarely photographed colonel was found injured with an Izh 79-9TM pistol nearby.
During his time alongside Putin, the colonel was reportedly a conscious taunt of Western powers, lugging a briefcase believed to contain nuclear codes in most public appearances.
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