An exiled Russian human rights activist who denounced Vladimir Putin’s use of prisoners as fighters in Ukraine claims he was the subject of an FSB-linked assassination attempt in France.
Vladimir Osechkin, 41, said shots narrowly missed him in his Biarritz hideout where he is hiding with his family.
The campaigner was also behind a mega-leak of videos in which the FSB security service and prison authorities were involved in a “torture band” in which rapists were used to break male prisoners from sexual brutalization.
Osechkin said he had been warned of a possible assassination attempt by Bellingcat investigative journalist Christo Grozev, and sprang into action when he saw a red dot — allegedly upon seeing the killer’s gun — on the wall of his home in the French resort. .
The activist and his family immediately turned off the lights and crashed to the ground as instructed by security experts, alerting the police.
Osechkin claimed that an investigation had been launched into the alleged assassination attempts by the French authorities.
“The neighbors have already testified that they heard gunshots,” he told Russian journalist Yulia Latynina in a livestream interview.
“I wasn’t hit, but there were shots. The scope moved towards me.’
He claimed the killer made unspecified mistakes that “helped me survive.”
Vladimir Osechkin, 41, the founder of anti-torture website Gulagu.net, said shots narrowly missed him in his Biarritz hideout where he is hiding with his family.
Osechkin was one of the first to reveal PMC Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s efforts to recruit prisoners to fight in Ukraine (Prigozhin pictured addressing prisoners)
Putin’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin filmed the recruitment of prisoners in one of the Russian colonies in September 2022
Last year, Osechkin painted himself as a target of Russian authorities when he leaked harrowing torture videos from Putin’s prisons
In February, Osechkin posted a series of rumors that he had put a €100,000 bounty on his head, claiming that the Russian Prison Service and the FSB had found a hitman to “liquidate” him.
“We received information that the person with close ties to organized crime had left Russia in the direction of Biarritz,” he said.
“I was asked to evacuate for several days, we went to the mountains for a weekend.
“I insisted that we come back after the weekend. My family was at the theater and I was working at home in the dark with papers. When the kids and family got back, we ate.
“While carrying the signs, from my peripheral view, I saw a red dot on the terrace.
‘We were prepared for this. My wife and kids spent about an hour in our most secure room and we closed the blinds. Special services arrived and the investigation began.’
Osechkin is the founder of anti-torture group gulagu.net, a human rights group campaigning against abuses in the Russian prison system.
In July, he revealed the efforts of the infamous Private Military Company (PMC) Wagner group to recruit prisoners as “cannon fodder” for Putin’s army in Ukraine.
“Please help stop this lawlessness,” Osechkin wrote.
“Convicts who have families waiting for them cannot voluntarily consent to this.
“The state in which the convicts are in the colony does not allow them to… [an informed] choice. Please help.’
Some 28,000 prisoners are estimated to have been recruited in a campaign led by 61-year-old Putin friend Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Osechkin (left) said he was warned of a Putin attack squad by Bellingcat researcher and Russian expert Christo Grozev (right)
Vladimir Osechkin, Russian founder of Gulagu.net
Osechkin portrayed himself as a target of Russian authorities last year when he leaked harrowing torture videos from Putin’s prisons.
A video showed a naked man screaming in pain as he was tied to a bed and mopped at a tuberculosis hospital in a Saratov prison in February 2020.
Prisoners under pressure from their guards are then shown urinating on an inmate.
Acts of raping men are also shown amid claims that all civilized norms have broken down in Russia’s prison system.
Guards tortured inmates who were then forced to torture other inmates, it is alleged.
The horrific treasure trove of rape, intimidation and violence material reportedly comes from prisons in six regions of Russia and has been passed on to the United Nations and the Council of Europe for investigation.