Putin takes ‘nuclear football’ to Russian politician’s funeral
Russian President Vladimir Putin was spotted with Russian “nuclear football” as he attended the funeral of a far-right politician on Friday.
Mr Putin was accompanied by a man in a dark suit who carried a briefcase containing the codes needed to authorize a remote nuclear attack.
Mourners were evacuated from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior as Russia’s leader paid tribute to ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky amid fears of an assassination attempt.
At the open coffin, Mr Putin picked up a bouquet of roses and placed them at the bottom of the coffin, then made the sign of the cross. No armed guard was standing near the coffin when he approached to pay his respects.
“For Vladimir Putin, the room where people said goodbye to Zhirinovsky was completely empty of people – even relatives sitting on chairs,” Telegram channel VCHK-OGPU reported.
Much like the nuclear soccer ball carried by presidential military aides in the United States, the Russian nuclear briefcase, known as the “cheget,” was designed to be at the president’s fingertips at all times. A similar briefcase is believed to accompany the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky was a far-right politician and leader of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party. He died of Covid 15 weeks after predicting the date of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in advance.