A Russian Federal Protection Service (FSO) officer responsible for guarding President Vladimir Putin has allegedly died by suicide inside the Kremlin walls, media reported Monday.
The Baza Telegram channel, which is thought to have links to Russia’s security services, said Mikhail Zakharov shot himself during his service. The state-run TASS news agency, which did not name the officer, cited an unnamed law enforcement source as confirming the suicide.
Zakharov’s colleagues linked his suicide to his increased overtime hours and his employers’ indifference to work conditions, Baza reported.
“Zakharov’s colleagues note that the practice of overworking has become more frequent due to a critical staff shortage at the FSO,” the Telegram channel said.
“Employees often have to work not only their own shifts but also that of their colleagues who had left. These overtime hours are unpaid,” it added.
Baza also reported that the FSO had recently discontinued the policy of allowing early retirement for members who had accumulated enough overtime hours, nullifying all of their extra hours.
The FSO is a Russian government agency tasked with protecting high-ranking officials including the president.
A TASS source maintained that the unnamed victim did not serve in the unit responsible for Putin’s personal protection, contradicting Baza’s assertion that he did.