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Putin’s former ally once discussed plots to kill him after he split from the Kremlin: ‘This is war’ | World | News

Russia will “drastically reduce” its military activity around Kyiv, the country’s deputy defense minister said Monday. Russian troops have approached the Ukrainian capital after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine more than four weeks ago. However, Moscow’s pledge to reduce its military activity was met with caution in the West. Reacting to the news, US President Joe Biden said: “I didn’t read anything until I saw what they did.”

Against the backdrop of Putin’s war in Ukraine, attention has turned to the shadowy network supporting the Russian President.

Many of Russia’s oligarchs and entities linked to its regime have been hit by crippling economic sanctions in recent weeks.

One man, no longer linked to the Kremlin is Russian billionaire Sergei Pugachev, who remains in exile in France.

Known as “Putin’s banker”, the businessman helped propel the Russian leader to power at the turn of the century.

However, Pugachev has dramatically fallen out with Putin and believes he is now on the Kremlin’s hit list.

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The Russian claims that in the 2020 Netflix documentary there has been an assassination attempt on him.

The former Russian senator discusses the alleged plot to assassinate him in ‘The Countess and the Russian Billionaire’.

He said: “I have had several assassination attempts, attempts to kill me.

“It is clear that this is a war.

“I need bodyguards to feel safe.

In his new life in France, the businessman has been tracked down by Russian debt collectors, and believes the Kremlin is after him.

In the documentary, he says: “I opened my first bank in the Soviet Union in 1991.

“I give a lot of loans to the government.

“That’s a lot of money. That’s millions.

“And people say, ‘OK, that’s like Putin’s banker’.”

‘The Countess and the Russian Billionaire’ is available on Netflix.