A critic of Vladimir Putin claims to have escaped an assassination attempt last week after spotting a “red dot” on the wall beside him.
Vladimir Osechkin is the head of Gulagu Net, a Russian human rights organisation that publicises incidents of torture by the Kremlin.
He was placed on a wanted list by Russian authorities on November 11 last year for an unspecified crime.
Mr Osechkin, who has lived in France since 2015, said he was warned about an impending assassination attempt by Bellingcat investigative journalist Christo Grozev, which helped him and his family get to safety.
He said: “I remember bringing plates to the children and seeing in my peripheral vision a red dot moving in my direction over the terrace railing.
“We had special training, we were warned and coached—that we shouldn’t hesitate and wait until we’re riddled with bullets.
“Our lights went out immediately, the kids dropped to the floor. We lowered the blinds, the proper services arrived, and an investigation began.
“The kids and my wife spent about an hour in one of the protected rooms.
“I wasn’t hit, shots were fired, aimed at me. Apparently the hitman’s mistakes or my lightning-speed reaction helped me survive. I accidentally saw the ‘dot’ with my side vision.”
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