“He drives like crazy, and everyone gives way” Mikhail Korotkov is the first photographer to take pictures of Putin’s armored train. He talked about his work – and how he was able to be followed by the FSB

Vladimir Putin in an armored train.  October 19, 2012

Mikhail Korotkov, born in the town of Dedovsk near Moscow, became interested in trains as a child, when his parents gave him a toy railway. During his second year in college, he started blogging on LiveJournal called “Railway Life”. He would go on long bike rides or wander around the countryside to watch the trains.

The Washington Post calls Korotkov the first person published on the Internet, an image of Vladimir Putin’s armored train. These are several gray wagons. The photo was published in 2018.

In February 2023, the Dossier Center founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky published material, which says that in the second half of 2021, Vladimir Putin began to often use a special armored train for travel. “The departure of the train can be spontaneous, unexpected. After the outbreak of the war, in February-March, he began to use the train very actively, especially to get to his residence in Valdai, ”said the interlocutor of the Dossier.

“Project” edition reportedthat for Putin in recent years they have built railway lines leading to presidential residences, as well as several secret train stations. Sota claimed that the presidential armored train could use a special station in Moscow, located near Komsomolskaya Square. The former Russian Railways driver told the project that the armored train is based in the Moscow-Kalancevskaya station depot.

Korotkov said finding and photographing the train was both scary and exciting for him. He compared it to a “ghost train” with a secret timetable, no identification number and always curtained windows. On one of the cars there is an unusual dome – it is assumed that special communication equipment is placed there.

I was so immersed in my hobby. I tried to take really rare photos. And for me, this task was so serious that I did not think about the consequences.

During the pandemic, Korotkov and other train junkies noticed how much more frequent the use of the presidential train had become. In 2021, Korotkov wrote on his blog: “He runs like crazy, and all the other trains give way to him.”

According to him, he took many photos of the armored train, but only posted a few of them on the Internet. He explained this by saying that he was trying not to draw attention “to the fact that I was so interested in this subject”. He calls this period the peak of his hobby.

In May 2021, strange messages began to appear in comments under Korotkov’s videos on YouTube. For example, the transcripts of his telephone conversations with a close friend and train lover, Vladimir. From this, Korotkov concluded that the FSB was following him, and the published transcripts were a warning.

I told my parents that my life was in danger.

After the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Korotkov began to fear that his railroad blog posts could be used to open a criminal case against him for sabotage or terrorism. In March 2022, he closed the blog for security reasons.

Korotkov concentrated on his job as a part-time financial analyst and physics teacher. According to him, he tried to lead a normal life. But the mobilization announced in September pushed him to leave Russia, despite his parents’ requests to stay in the country. He said he thought about leaving in 2014, after the annexation of Crimea. But he hoped things would get better.

Korotkov left Moscow for Kazakhstan. Then he went to India for a few months. He was fired from the financial company where he worked shortly after leaving Russia. “My whole life was in a backpack – laptop, passport, documents, mobile phone. I miss my family. But that’s the only thing I left in Russia,” he says.

Today, Korotkov lives in Sri Lanka and teaches online computer training courses for a Russian company. He takes pictures of planes and videos about his life abroad. In mid-October, Korotkov published an article on LiveJournal in which he announced his decision to resume the blog. Last fast it is dated December 31.

Shortly before the start of the war, Putin began to travel regularly in an armored train. Yes, just like the leaders of North Korea The essentials of the Dossier Center investigation

Shortly before the start of the war, Putin began to travel regularly in an armored train. Yes, just like the leaders of North Korea The essentials of the Dossier Center investigation

Leave a Comment