Russian trainspotter obsessed with taking pictures of Putin’s ‘ghost train’ now lives in exile: report

putin train

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands in a train cabin in Kerch, Crimea on December 23, 2019.Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via Reuters

  • Trainspotter has been tracking Putin’s secret train for years.

  • Mikhail Korotkov said Washington Post In 2021, he felt like he was being watched.

  • Fearing for his life, Korotkov fled the country in September and now lives in Sri Lanka.

The Trainspotter, obsessed with tracking Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “ghost train,” is now in exile. The Washington Post reported.

Mikhail Korotkov, 31, spent years tracking Putin’s armored train, photographing it, and blogging about it. Discreetly travel across the country.

The train travels between heavily guarded stations built on a site frequented by President Putin. These stations include Novo-Ogalyovo, Sochi, and Valdai, the Russian independent media prokt. report last month.

In an interview with The Post, Korotkov said he frequently posts pictures of trains and writes about their features on his blog, Railway Life, which he started in 2011.

“I was really into my hobby. “And for me, the challenge was so big that I didn’t think about the outcome.”

Korotkov said tracing the train was difficult because there was no timetable, the windows were blacked out and the locomotive number was not identified. Other train spotters who knew Korotkov had a special interest in Putin’s private coach often kept it a secret from him when they saw it, he said.

Korotkov was also the first railway enthusiast to post. image But the 31-year-old told the Post that he hasn’t posted every photo of Putin’s train online, and was also careful not to reveal too much about his hobby.

“I was trying not to draw attention to the fact that I was very interested in this subject,” he said.

In May 2021, Korotkov said “creepy” conversations began appearing at the bottom of his YouTube page. This included verbatim transcriptions of personal phone conversations about Trainspotting with his best friend.

“I thought about my own safety. From that moment on, I realized that anything I put out on the internet could be used against me,” he told the Post. He said he thought he was being monitored by Russia’s Federal Security Service or the FSB.

“I told my parents that my life was in danger,” he added.

Less than a year later, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Korotkov said he became even more worried. He feared that his train guardhouse would be used to imprison him on charges of sabotage and terrorism. He closed his blog a month after the war started.

Last September, Korotkov said he had decided to flee Russia after Putin announced the mobilization of the military. He currently lives in Sri Lanka, but he is “ready to move around the world,” he told the Post.

“The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is still going on, but my life is up in the air.

Read the original article at business insider