Drones targeting Moscow struck near Russian President Vladimir Putin's home, a report says.
The report said Putin was so scared of being assassinated that he was refusing to travel abroad.
Putin has long used elaborate layers of security, a former UK intelligence official told Insider.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has long sought to project an image of invincibility through his notorious macho PR stunts and aggressive assertions of Russia's role on the world stage.
The report said he was so concerned about being assassinated amid the fallout from the invasion of Ukraine that he was refusing to travel from the country.
The source — whom Verstka described as a high-ranking Russian official — said the feeling "behind the scenes of the Kremlin" was that Putin was wary of traveling anywhere and that "he has no sense of security."
According to the report, recent events had heightened the Russian president's paranoia.
They included a March arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in the Hague on allegations of war crimes and a series of mysterious drone attacks near Moscow.
There have also been allegations of a coup against him by the Russian mercenary group Wagner, and their chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
The drone strikes on Tuesday hit a wealthy Russian capital suburb which the Kremlin said were intercepted by air-defense systems.
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According to The Moscow Times, which cited a crash-site list from the Russian government, the drones hit villages only a few kilometers from Novo-Ogaryovo, the site of the luxurious home where Putin is believed to spend much of his time.
One source told the publication that Putin was in the residence at the time of the attack and was woken by security officials.
Dmitry Medvedev, a Kremlin official and former Russian president, said a drone attack on the Kremlin in May was a Ukrainian attempt to assassinate Putin, which Ukraine denied.
Philip Ingram, a former British Military intelligence officer, told Insider that Putin had long encased himself in elaborate layers of security — and that his isolation appeared to be getting worse.
He said that the Russian president's paranoia became more accentuated during the COVID pandemic when he lived in a virtual-isolation bubble. Ingram added that new fears of assassination meant Putin lived in isolation while surrounded by a few close aides who fed him false information tailored to suit his prejudices.
Recent events, Ingram said, "will continue to reinforce his paranoia, so he will continue to take increasingly stronger security measures to keep himself more isolated."
He said these security measures included using body doubles and ensuring Putin's food was "tested and tested" for poisons before being served to him.
"His program is very carefully controlled," Ingram said. "His inner sanctum bodyguards are loyal to the point where they will do anything for him — they are psychologically tested for all of this sort of stuff — and it literally means anything for him."
Ingram's comments echo those of a former Kremlin security official, Gleb Karakulov, who fled Russia in April in opposition to the war in Ukraine.
In comments to a Russian opposition group in London reported by RFERL, he spoke about Putin's increasing isolation and paranoia. He said that Putin traveled in an armored train and insisted on COVID-19 quarantine measures for those working closely with him. The Russian leader wouldn't even use the internet, he said.
Ingram said Putin's isolation meant he was only being presented with distorted information by a group of close aides, warping his decision-making.
This, Ingram said, "means that he's in a position where, if he's only been presented with what he wants to hear, then his decision-making will continually be more and more flawed." Ingram pointed to Putin's missteps in the invasion of Ukraine as an example of where he had exercised poor judgment.
Putin had been expected to attend summits in India this summer, as well as the BRICS summit in South Africa in August, but local reports said his attendance was in question amid concerns over the ICC arrest warrant.
Reuters reported that South African officials even considered moving the summit to China.
Ingram said Putin would like to portray himself as an "international statesman" who asserts himself on the global stage. But fears of assassination and feelings of paranoia are beginning to destroy that image.
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