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Viktor Trukhin, 59, has been arrested after Russia’s top intelligence agency, the FSB, detained him under mysterious circumstances. Mr Trukhin served as the director of the St. Petersburg Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums for the past eleven years and reportedly knew all of Vladimir Putin’s “health secrets”, The Sun reports. This comes amid ongoing speculation surrounding the health of the Russian leader.
The desperate attempt to flee Russia comes after he was abruptly fired from a senior post following “fraud” allegations.
The Federal Medical Biological Agency (FMBA) terminated Mr Turkhin’s position last week.
Russian security services were apparently handed a dossier alleging his involvement in fraud and corruption claims.
The news of his arrest today comes six days after Mr Trukhin mysteriously vanished.
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Russia’s FSB spy agency intercepted Mr Trukhin as he attempted to cross the border into Belarus, according to the Telegram channel Cheka-OGPU.
The 59-year-old reportedly had full access to knowledge of Russia’s latest research and development in the field of vaccines, serums and “bacterial preparations”.
The Telegram channel reported that a criminal case was opened against him when “it became clear that Trukhin intended to leave the Russian Federation and could tell a lot of interesting things about Russian vaccines and serums”.
Trukhin was found to have been in possession of a Nicaraguan passport, according to Cheka-OGPU.
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The fraud case against him reportedly centres on an alleged £4.75million payment to a South American biotechnology institute.
The St. Petersburg Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums led the Russian effort to tackle coronavirus.
His institute has also developed treatments for hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases, and plays a leading role in exporting Russian vaccines abroad.
The Russian Telegram channel reported that Mr Trukhin was last seen in Moscow on 3 September by his daughter.
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Mr Trukhin wrote a mysterious farewell letter to the staff of his institute last week, announcing his departure.
The letter added: “This decision was not mine, unfortunately.”
There remains regular speculation around President Putin’s health, led by amateur social media sleuths who examine videos of President Putin’s public appearances.
Many try to identify changes in his appearance, speech, gait, or posture as evidence of faltering health.
This comes as Vladimir Putin tries to foster greater links with North Korea as Russia is looking for military equipment for its invasion of Ukraine.
It is understood that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may travel to Russia to meet Putin by the end of September.
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