Vadim Zimin, a colonel who used to carry Vladimir Putin’s nuclear codes briefcase has been found shot at his home near Moscow. He is currently in intensive care.

Retired Federal Security Service (FSB) colonel Zimin, 53, was responsible for carrying the briefcase that always accompanies the president of Russia. He has held the position since his former employer, Boris Yeltsin, was the Russian Federation’s leader.

The “secret briefcase” is understood to contain the launching apparatus for the Kremlin’s strategic nuclear missiles, contains a personalized key code, and remains under 24/7 supervision.

Putin has in the past been pictured with Zimin carrying the nuclear codes by his side, and the presence of the briefcase is regarding to act as a symbolic threat to the west.

Zimin was found in the kitchen of his apartment in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region, on the evening of Wednesday, June 22.


State-owned Russian media outlets have reported that the official had “tried to commit suicide” and was discovered by his brother “in a pool of blood”.

Zimin had allegedly sustained a gunshot wound to the head, and an Izh 79-9TM pneumatic pistol was found nearby.

The shooting comes after it was announced recently that Zimin would face a criminal investigation for alleged bribe-taking, and that the colonel had been placed under house arrest.

Zimin denies the bribery allegations against him, which relate to his new job in the customs service.

The incident has raised suspicions with the international media, following a spate of mysterious incidents and deaths involving high-ranking Russian officials and businessmen linked to Putin.

Last month, Russian tycoon Aleksandr Subbotin was reported to have died under suspicious circumstances after resigning from oil company LUKoil after he and other Russian businessmen were hit by sanctions by Australia and the United Kingdom over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

His death was blamed by the Russian media on a drug overdose. On the same day, international media sources reported that Sergei Protosenya, a former senior manager of Russian gas giant Novatek, had been found dead along with his wife and daughter in a rented villa in the Spanish town of Lloret de Mar, near Barcelona.


Protosenya was found hanged, while his wife and daughter had been stabbed to death, Spanish police confirmed.

The Kremlin has not officially commented on the situation regarding Colonel Zimin, who remains in a critical condition and is being treated at an undisclosed intensive care unit.


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