Images from amateur Russian trainspotting websites appear to show Putin’s train. The train is painted to look like an ordinary Russian Railways train. Obtained by CNN
August 5, 2022 was a day like many others in Ukraine. First light revealed the devastation from a night of Russian bombing.
Russian attacks on a residential neighborhood of Mykolaiv that morning brought “significant destruction,” the governor of the region said at the time, injuring at least 10.
On that same day, in Moscow, bureaucrats in President Vladimir Putin’s office were preoccupied by an issue far removed from the brutal war in Ukraine.
“The Transportation Administration has received an appeal,” a Kremlin official wrote, “about the need to install gym equipment Hoist HD-3800 and Hoist HD-3200 instead of Abductor-Standard and Abductor-Technogym in the sports-health wagon No 021-78630.”
Recently leaked documents suggest that the “sports-health wagon” is used by none other than Putin himself.
Among the parts of the train detailed is car number 021-78630, with a gym and spa for Putin, according to the Dossier Center. The Dossier Center
Remarkably little is known about Putin’s private life. His public image is carefully manicured, as has been evident in the days since Yevgeny Prigozhin’s short-lived mutiny. But a trove of paperwork and photographs obtained exclusively by the London-based Russian investigations group the Dossier Center, and shared with CNN, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and German public broadcaster NDR and WDR, reveals details the Kremlin shrouds from public view, and the extent to which Putin’s paranoia has created a cloistered existence.
The Dossier Center is backed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled former Russian oil tycoon turned Kremlin critic.
The fact that Putin uses a train is well known. The Kremlin itself has released images of meetings held on board, in an ornately decorated boardroom. The contents of the train’s other 20-odd cars, however, have been a closely guarded state secret.
The Dossier Center says the leaked documents came from an insider at Zircon Service, a Russian company tasked by Russian Railways, the state-owned rail operator, with outfitting the cars intended for the office of the Russian president.
Among the parts of the train detailed is car number 021-78630. A glossy brochure made by Zircon itself shows a luxurious gym and spa on wheels designed for Putin, the Dossier Center says.
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