A former bodyguard for President Vladimir Putin took photos of himself sitting in Putin's office in an effort to attract women, the Moskovsky Komsomolets tabloid reported Monday.
The newspaper published a couple of photographs to back up its claims. According to MK, the man in the pictures is Alexei Ustimchuk, who worked between 2004 and 2011 at the Federal Guard Service, the agency tasked with protecting Putin and a handful of other high-ranking officials.
Ustimchuk is currently serving a 4.5-year prison sentence for organizing the kidnapping of the son of software tycoon Eugene Kaspersky. It was not immediately clear when the photos were supposedly taken.
A friend of Ustimchuk told the newspaper that the former bodyguard liked to tell women that he was close to the president and posted the photos on social networks and dating websites.
The Federal Guard Service said it would check whether the photos were real but that it doubted their authenticity, pointing to differences between the president's office and the way it is shown in the photographs. For example, there is a printer by the table in one of the photos, while the guard service says there is no such printer in Putin's office.
But MK said that its reporters showed the pictures to dozens of photographers and designers, who confirmed that the pictures were genuine.