Officer's Putin desk shots investigated

2013-05-21 18:32
Displayed on a computer screen is one of the pictures of Alexei Ustimchuk, a former officer of the Federal Bodyguard Service (FSO), posing behind Vladimir Putin's desk in the Kremlin. (AFP)

Displayed on a computer screen is one of the pictures of Alexei Ustimchuk, a former officer of the Federal Bodyguard Service (FSO), posing behind Vladimir Putin's desk in the Kremlin. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Russia's federal guard service launched an investigation after photos appeared in the media of a disgraced former employee posing behind Vladimir Putin's desk in the Kremlin, an official said on Tuesday.

Pictures of the man, named Alexei Ustimchuk, sitting diminutively behind the giant desk in Putin's Kremlin office, spread through the internet as people ridiculed the lack of security that permitted a simple employee such access.

Published first by tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets, the photos show the young man in a wood-panelled room with two armchairs and a Russian flag, looking identical to one where Putin works in the Kremlin and where he held a meeting with Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin earlier this month.

"We are checking whether these pictures are authentic or not," a spokesperson for the federal guard service (FSO) Sergei Devyatov said on Tuesday.

The FSO, Moscow's version of the American secret service, is responsible for ensuring the personal security of Putin and Russia's other top leaders.

Behind bars


Moskovsky Komsomolets did not explain where it obtained the pictures, but said that Ustimchuk, who was an officer in the FSO's communications department between 2004 and 2011, posted the pictures on dating sites to "impress the ladies".

"What girl wouldn't want a captain with direct access to the president's study?" Moskovsky Komsomolets said.

"Turns out that any scoundrel can march into the office of the head of state and have a photo session," the paper said, though it was not clear what year the photo was snapped.

Ustimchuk is currently behind bars after being convicted over the high-profile kidnapping of the son of Russian businessman Yevgeny Kaspersky last year.

A military tribunal sentenced him to 4.5 years in a prison colony on charges of kidnapping and extortion. His associates are still on trial in Moscow.

Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.