Cannons, flypast & honour guard…despot Putin's sickeningly lavish welcome on Middle East day-trip in £1m bomb-proof limo | The Sun

VLADIMIR PUTIN was welcomed to the Middle East with a sickeningly lavish parade as he begins crucial talks over the state of Russia's economy.

The wicked tyrant was seen travelling through the streets of Abu Dhabi in a £1million bomb-proof limousine as jets soared through the air leaving behind trails of white, blue and red for the Russian flag.

Putin was then taken past a guard of honour from men playing musical instruments and seemingly holding weapons as the leader passed cannons going off all set up for him.

A second stream of jets flew overhead as the men lining the streets started to sing for the 71-year-old President of Russia.

The streets were also draped in Russian flags as camels and horses stood on either side of the roads as the president made his way to see President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

His presidential aircraft dubbed the "Flying Kremlin" took the leader from Russia to the Middle East in a rare foreign visit beyond the borders of the old Soviet Union. 

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Reports earlier on in the day said Putin was surrounded by four Su-35S fighter jets loaded with missiles, as fears over his safety became imperative.

It's expected to be a short trip in the Middle East where Putin will visit Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia to hold important economic talks.

Putin is currently embroiled with an International Criminal Court warrant for his arrest looming over his head for abducting Ukrainian children and taking them to Russia.

Special permission needed to be given from countries en route to his destination to avoid the war planes causing any suspicion.

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Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The Su-35S (warplanes) took off from an operational airfield in Russia in difficult weather conditions with heavy rain and gusty winds.

“Special overflight permits were obtained from the States over whose territory the overflight took place for the aerial escort of the presidential aircraft. 

“We are grateful to those States for their co-operation.”

The giant Aurus Kortezh limousine that picked Putin up from his plane was first unveiled in 2018.

It has run-flat tears, night-vision cameras, 6cm reinforced glass, an air compression system to protect against gas attacks, armour plating and an emergency exit through the boot.

It also recognises road signs and limits its speed and when faced with inescapable collision, the Aurus can automatically move the passenger seats to a safer position, tighten all the seat belts and then close all the doors and windows.

The £1m motor has a 4.4-litre V8 engine and is 23ft long and is rumoured to have cost £150 million in state funding to help with its design.

Mad Vlad was travelling to meet with President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, before going to see Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss oil production.

The crucial talks are believed to be over-boosting the Russian economy after it was badly hit by various sanctions from across the globe for their huge part in the devastation of Ukraine.

On Thursday, Putin will then play host to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow as he bids to keep the war in Ukraine up and running ahead of his expected re-election in 2024.

Russian has poured money into the UAE since the war started in Ukraine with Putin announcing trade last year soared up by 67 per cent.

Russia has always had close ties to the Middle East and the UAE, especially with almost one million tourists visiting the UAE in 2022, according to the Kremlin.

The ruler of Abu Dhabi said: "I appreciate your (Putin's) personal role in strengthening bilateral relations."

Putin has reportedly spent the last few months fearing for his health ahead of these important meetings with world leaders.

Intelligence analysts and experts have recently noticed changes in Putin's appearance, speech, and posture during his public appearances which they say indicate his health is in serious decline.

Earlier in December, Putin refused to stand within 70ft of Britain's new ambassador to Moscow for "sanitary reasons" at a diplomatic ceremony.

In a scene reminiscent of the Covid pandemic, the Russian president was pictured standing metres away from other officials and delivered a speech from across a grand hall.

He told the envoys: "Unfortunately, for sanitary reasons, we cannot talk more, socialise. 

"I hope that better times will come, not only in politics but also in healthcare, and we will be able to do so."

The Russian despot is also believed to be paranoid about his own men having a target on his back, which has seen him continually isolate himself.

His army of minions hired to protect him are the only people he allows to get close to him as he obsesses over assassination plots.

Convinced he could be poisoned, he has a whole team of people employed to taste his food before he eats it.

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Putin also reportedly tests the water in his swimming pool multiple times a day to check for suspicious chemical levels, and wears special gloves to protect his skin from possible exposure to killer substances.

This comes as others think Putin is already dead and a body double is being used to carry on the ruse of stability in Russia.

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