Formerly a professor at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) – attended by future top diplomats and spies, Solovey has previously alleged Putin suffers medical problems hidden from the Russian public, and has taken part in bizarre secret shamanic rituals alongside his defence minister Sergey Shoigu.
Some in Moscow dismiss Solovey as a conspiracy theorist or hoaxer, but just last week he was interrogated for seven hours by Russian authorities due to allegations he made about Putin’s medical and mental condition on a Telegram site he operates.
His home was also searched and multiple electronic items were seized. Solovey was subsequently released but the case is not closed.
The claim comes as Russia pounds Kyiv and Kharkiv with missile strikes, leading to accusations that Putin is committing war crimes by deploying devastating cluster bombs on helpless civilians.
‘At the weekend, President Putin’s family was evacuated to a special bunker prepared in case of nuclear war,’ said the professor in a video.
‘This bunker is located in the [mountainous] Altai Republic.
‘In fact, it is not a bunker, but a whole underground city, equipped with the latest science and technology.’
He warned: ‘I hope this means something to you? That the President sends his family to this bunker?’
Solovey, who claims to have insider contacts in the Kremlin, is believed to be referring to a sprawling mountain dacha built ostensibly by energy behemoth Gazprom around a decade ago in the Ongudaysky district of the Altai Republic, a region of Siberia bordering Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan.
Observers have noted multiple ventilation points in the grounds surrounding the mountain hideout, and a high voltage line linked to an ultra-modern 110 kilovolt substation, enough to power a small city.
During construction, vast German tunnel diggers were reported to have been at the site.
Solovey did not identify the family members of Putin supposedly sent to the bunker, but has previously alleged that Olympic Gold-winning rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva, 38, is the Russian leader’s secret spouse.
‘This is his real family, and Alina is capable of influencing his decisions,’ he said last year.
Putin has two adult daughters Maria Vorontsova, 36, a geneticist, and Katerina Tikhonova, 35, a dancer-turned-mathematician.
He is also reported to have a daughter named Luiza Rozova, a 18-year-old heiress also known as Elizaveta Krivonogikh, from a previous relationship with cleaner-turned-multimillionaire Svetlana Krivonogikh, 45, now a part-owner of a major Russian bank.
Unconfirmed rumours denied by the Kremlin say he also has children with Kabaeva.
Putin has previously said: ‘I have a private life in which I do not permit interference. It must be respected.’
He deplored ‘those who with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies prowl into others’ lives’.
Kabaeva is on record as saying she had met an unnamed man who ‘I love very much’, gushing: ‘Sometimes you feel so happy that you even feel scared.’
The claimed move of his family to the bunker came with a ‘failure’ of Putin’s strategic plan to conquer Ukraine, said Solovey.
Putin had been hit by ‘extremely strong, united and very negative reaction of the collective West regarding Russian plans’.
‘Putin had planned to declare the complete and indisputable military victory of Russian troops on the evening of Sunday, 27 February – and announce the end, or the near end of the so-called ”special operation,” Solovey said.
‘As you know, not a single target of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine was reached.’
Accounts of Russian losses following the invasion of Ukraine veer between 700 and a Ukrainian claim of 4,500 in the initial days of fighting.
Russia claims to have hit 1,146 Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities including 31 command points and communications centres, 81 S-300 air defence bases, plus Buk M-1 and Osa air defence missile systems, and 75 radar stations.
‘A total of 311 tanks other armoured military vehicles, 42 airplanes and helicopters (including some on the ground), 51 multiple launch rocket systems, 147 field artillery weapons and mortars, and 263 specialised military vehicles have been destroyed,’ said Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
But there have been widespread reports that Russian units have been successfully repelled by Ukrainian forces, with Russian authorities attempting to cover up the number of casualties their ranks have sustained.
One of Solovey’s more startling claims was that defence minister Shoigu arranged for Putin to attend a shamanic ritual in Siberia which involved the sacrifice of a black wolf in a rite to improve the president’s health.
Shoigu is currently in personal control of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
‘A piece of white fabric was soaked with the wolf’s blood and burned,’ said anonymous Telegram channel ‘General SVR’ linked to Solovey in September 2021.
‘They allegedly saw a black raven in the smoke that circled for a long time.
‘For some reason, this sign was explained to Putin as a great success.’
Quizzed over his claims that Putin had a serious illness – something which has been strongly denied by the Kremlin – Solovey said: ‘I do not use the expression ‘terminally ill’ and I have never used it.
‘I use a euphemism: personal circumstances of compelling force.’
He has suggested in the past Putin was suffering from early stage Parkinson’s disease, and that he has a secret life-threatening illness, but has not produced proof for his assertions.