- 11:05 ET, Mar 28 2022
- Updated: 11:15 ET, Mar 28 2022
PARANOID warmonger Vladimir Putin travels around Moscow cocooned in a seven-tonne armoured car that can resist bomb and chemical weapons attacks.
And in true James Bond style, its occupants can survive even if the car is completely submerged in water.
The giant Aurus Kortezh limousine has run-flat tears, night-vision cameras, 6cm reinforced glass, an air compassion 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.
At least 12.4 billion rubles – £150 million – of state funding was poured into designing the car.
It was built at the NAMI state automobile institute in Moscow and made from Russian-produced parts.
The Kortezh was first seen on display at a Putin inauguration ceremony in May 2018.
The tyrant who ordered missiles to target civilians in Ukraine was previously driven in a Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard Pullman, as was his predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev.
Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, used a Mercedes-Benz S500.
In Soviet times, general secretaries such as Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Gorbachev famously used chunky ZiL limousines.
At least 16 Kortezh models are reported to have been passed to the Federal Protection Service, which is responsible for Putin’s security. Other high-ranking officials are expected to receive versions of the vehicle.
The commercial sale of Kortezh models is underway with a minivan and a sedan version also available.
The Russians want to compete with Mercedes-Maybachs, Bentleys and Rolls-Royces.
Prices start at £120,000 and about 300 vehicles will be built annually.
Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund
PICTURES of women and children fleeing the horror of Ukraine’s devastated towns and cities have moved Sun readers to tears.
Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun’s Ukraine Fund.
Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.
Donate here to help The Sun’s fund
Or text to 70141 from UK mobiles
£3 — text SUN£3
£5 — text SUN£5
£10 — text SUN£10
Texts cost your chosen donation amount (e.g. £5) +1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/mobile
The Ukraine Crisis Appeal will support people in areas currently affected and those potentially affected in the future by the crisis.
In the unlikely event that the British Red Cross raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help them prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.
For more information visit https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/disaster-fund