Photos of Vladimir Putin’s personal train, called the “ghost train”, leaked in early July. They reveal that this means of transport, used by the head of the Kremlin to cross the country, is equipped with many state-of-the-art equipment. And some of them are quite surprising, reports CNN. Inside, there are, for example, devices intended to “slow down aging”.
A real fortress
This very confidential information was obtained by “Dossier Center”, a London investigation group supported by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled Russian oil magnate. They would come from a source internal to one of the companies having built the train. According to their data, the “ghost train” would have cost 74 million dollars (66 million euros). Its annual maintenance is estimated at 16 million dollars (14 million euros).
If this train of 22 wagons has been the subject of such funding, it is because Vladimir Putin feels safe there. The Russian president would indeed favor the train to the plane because he would find this system safer. His personal train has its own private track and stations, while air travel can be tracked by radar. Inside, the train is also very secure: the doors and windows are bulletproof and several cars are protected from tapping.
Massage parlour, restaurants, luxury rooms
The Russian head of state also has a high level of comfort in his “ghost train”. According to the photos, there is a fully equipped gym, massage parlors or even a radiofrequency device used to “tighten the skin”. The president also has access to his own cinema, several dining cars and various high-end rooms. In total, the crew on board consists of twelve people.
The level of sophistication of this train was perceived by Abbas Gallyamov, a former close associate of Putin, as a symbol of a certain “political insecurity”. “He is losing the war, losing in politics, losing popularity. (…) He feels that he is surrounded by enemies. And, psychologically, he wants to feel protected from all those things,” he said. Conversely, a Russian official denied the luxury of the train to our colleagues from CNN. “President Putin does not have this kind of means of transport in his possession,” he said.