Vladimir Putin is one of the most controversial public figures of the 21st century. Putin’s reputation has led to multiple assassination attempts on him. Along with his reputation, he has made plenty of enemies throughout his long-stretching political career. Former President Boris Yeltsin appointed him Prime Minister in 1999, and later in the same year, Putin became the President of Russia after Yeltsin stepped down. Putin held this position from 1999 to 2008. He assumed the presidential position once again in 2012 after serving 4 years as Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012.
Assassination attempt on Vladimir Putin
According to a report in Euro Weekly News on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin has survived an assassination attempt. It stated that the details were made public on Wednesday on the General GVR Telegram channel. The site did however add that the exact time of the attempt is unknown. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year, there have been persistent rumours about Mr. Putin’s health and threat to his life. In 2017, the Russian President officially acknowledged that he had escaped at least five murder attempts.
According to the report, the left front wheel of Putin’s car was hit by a loud bang followed by smoke but the car was driven to safety.
Putin was unharmed in the incident; however, the security services have arrested a number of people. Some of his bodyguards also disappeared amid the claims that Putin’s movements were compromised.
At the Seoul Forum held in July, the US’ former Defence Secretary stated, “We have a saying in America, we say that nations with allies thrive, nations without allies wither and we’re watching Russia wither before our eyes right now.” (sic) “The tragedy of our time is that Putin is a creature straight out of Dostoevsky. He goes to bed every night angry, he goes to bed every night fearful, he goes to bed every night thinking that Russia is surrounded by nightmares and this has guided him,…” (sic)
This shows the US’ lookout towards Mr. Putin and how much the West hates the Russian President.
Past Assassination Attempts on Putin
In an interview with Putin, filmmaker Oliver Stone asked Putin, “3 times President 5 assassination attempts I’m told, not as much as Castro who I’ve interviewed I think he must have 50 but aa.. there’s 5 legitimate I’ve heard about,” (sic)
Putin: Yes, I talked with Castro about that. And he said to me, “Do you know why I’m still alive?”, I asked him why, “Because I was the one to deal with my security personally.” (translated) (sic)
Putin: I do my job, and the Security Officers do theirs, and they are still performing quite successfully.
Oliver: You trust your security and they’ve done a great job.
Putin: I trust them.
But when did all this started? The day was February 24th, 2000, while attending the funeral of Anatoly Sobchak in St. Petersburg when there was an attempt on Putin’s life. It is believed that it was the first known attempt on Russian President’s life. The press secretary of the Federal Guard Service stated, “Not a psychopath but a certain organisation was behind the attempt.”
In the same year, there was another assassination attempt which was prevented by security forces. It happened at the time when a group of Russian leaders met with the world leaders at the Yalta Summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States. A person was stopped from killing Putin who was specifically targeted among the world leaders. He was among the Presidents from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, and several other countries but the failed-assassin was only focused on taking out Putin. After the conclusion of the summit, the Chief of Security Service at that time stated that they had successfully halted the assassination attempt.
Although the documents about this are classified till today, but several people including 4 Chechens and an unspecified number of middle-eastern nationals were arrested in connection with the assassination attempt.
There were multiple other attempts later, such as in January 2002, failed explosive attack. Another one happened in Kremlin in Feb 2002, when a man drove to Putin’s residence and tried an assassination attempt but was sent to a psychiatrist hospital. The next attempt came in November 2002, when Putin was supposed to drive along a highway near Kremlin. A group of people claimed that they were installing new signboards along the highway but just hours later it was reported that 40 kilograms of explosives were found along the highway.
Putin: Thorn in the flesh of the West
It is well known that Putin is the thorn in the flesh of the West. Whether it is Ukraine-Russia conflict, hurdles in the expansion of NATO or de-dollarisation of international trade Putin has always spearheaded any anti-West campaign.
The US dollar, which now serves as the world’s reserve currency, is experiencing a continuous decline as major central banks are considering diversifying their reserves away from the US dollar and towards alternative assets or currencies like the Euro, Renminbi, or gold.
For instance, India and Russia have been gradually lowering their dependence on the dollar. Before 2019, India-Russia settled more than 50% of trade in dollars, but by 2021, 53.4% of Indian payments to Russia were paid in roubles, with the dollar’s share falling to 38.3%. Western sanctions unintentionally gave India the chance to introduce the rupee to the world market and the same happened with Rouble.
Seeing the ferocity of Putin’s campaigns against the West one can speculate that there can be West’s prospects in the recent or even past attempts on Putin’s life but it cannot be totally ruled out that there are innumerable enemies of Putin inside the Russia too. Indeed, one cannot serve that long without a very tight security force.
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Piyush Gupta, Associate Editor (National Desk, English) at TFI Media. Graduate from St. Aloysius College. "Piyush Gupta has been correcting people's grammar since he was a kid. Since then, he's turned this annoying tendency into a career..."