A retired Russian colonel tasked with carrying President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear codes remains hospitalized after he was found shot at his home near Moscow.
Vadim Zimin, 53, is “gravely ill” and in intensive care after his brother found him in a pool of blood on Monday, according to media reports.
The retired colonel of Russia’s Federal Security Service — formerly known as the KGB during the Soviet era — had been in charge of the briefcase carrying the country’s nuclear codes. It always accompanies the Kremlin leader.
Although he denied any wrongdoing, Mr. Zimin was the target of a criminal investigation following allegations that he had been taking bribes while assigned to a senior role in Russia’s customs service, according to the British newspaper The Mirror.
He also carried the nuclear briefcase as an aide to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, according to reports.