Russian leader Vladimir Putin was reported to have an exit plan for Venezuela, should he fall from grace in Moscow if his country does not succeed militarily in Ukraine. Argentina and China were also said to have been under consideration but were eventually discarded.
According to Abbas Gallyamov, a former speechwriter of Putin's who has been living in exile in Israel since 2018, the escape plan was referred to as Noah's Ark. It was also reported that Yury Kurilin, vice-president and chief of staff of the Russian energy company Rosneft, was in charge of making all the arrangements with Caracas.
Noah's Ark is about finding new lands you can go to in case it becomes completely uncomfortable in your homeland, Gallyamov wrote on his Telegram channel. The leader's entourage does not exclude that he will lose the war, he added. In those circumstances, Putin would need to urgently evacuate somewhere, he added citing a reliable source.
In the summer, Kurilin formally resigned from Rosneft and is now fully dedicated to Noah's Ark, Gallyamov also wrote. He has U.S. citizenship and good connections. He graduated from Hayward University in California and worked in BP structures, including the senior position of director of corporate affairs. Kurilin was still listed as Rosneft's vice president and chief of staff on sites including the Wall Street Journal's company profile page.
Unfortunately, my source does not know any other details, however, what has been said is enough to understand: when they [Russia] say that 'everything is going according to plan,' it makes sense to clarify which one. They seem to have more than one plan, Gallyamov concluded.
Gallyamov's Telegram entries were reported by Newsweek.
Citing sources close to the presidential administration and a source in Rosneft, the Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit also reported that high-ranking officials have already begun buying up real estate and working on getting residency rights in Venezuela, particularly on Margarita Island, where they feel safe from extradition, while others who do not rank very high in the Russian government are seeking residency in Ecuador, Paraguay, and Argentina.