A FORMER KGB spy who trained at the same top military academy as Putin knows all too well what a master manipulator he is.
Aliia Roza, 38, now a life coach, said Putin has "brainwashed" the Russian population using techniques that the KGB instils "in your DNA".
The mum-of-one believes Putin’s spy training is responsible for his rise to power – and underneath his infamous strongman image is a manipulative and intimidating operator.
“He became so powerful from the techniques he learnt… I know them too, but then he started to use it against the moral good," Aliia told The Sun.
"Nothing has changed since communism. They say the Cold War has ended, but really it’s still on.
"He's manipulating the whole world saying that if they will not listen to him, he will start a nuclear war. It’s blackmail."
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Carrying his KGB playbook with him, Putin's conquering of the divide and rule approach and masterful use of manipulation has never gone unnoticed.
For decades, those skills thrived in the closed worlds of Soviet-era intelligence before being thrust onto the world stage when he took power in 2000.
And his same ruthless spy techniques have persisted as he tries to maintain his iron-fist rule during Russia's most unstable period for years.
"It's in your DNA," Aliia said.
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The ex-agent described how Putin’s mass manipulation has helped to maintain the illusion of his control.
“In that academy, they trained us and they teach us how to live this double life and how to build your brand so strong that people would believe you 100 per cent,” she previously told The Sun.
“You've seen so many photos of Mr Putin riding the horse half-naked, diving to the bottom of the ocean, shooting from different kind of guns and acting like a superhero.
"It's such a similar brand to James Bond. Every Russian man wants to be like a James Bond. It's a brand.
"So Mr Putin for many, many years built that strong brand where people would worship him. And that's also one of the techniques of being a super special agent."
Allia was born in the Soviet Union with a Second World War hero for a father who raised her "for a bigger purpose".
It's almost like going to war and dying like a hero – that's how I felt
From a young age, he trained her mentally and physically for a future role in the intelligence service, telling her "you have to be strong like a soldier".
“I didn’t understand at the time what was happening – I was too young," Aliia said.
At 18, she was shipped off to a KGB military academy reserved only for the sons and daughters of high-ranking officials – the very same programme that Putin graduated in 1975.
“I was selected with four other girls out of 350 based on physical conditions, appearance and intelligence for a secretive training programme," she said.
“I was raised to be the best."
It was there that Aliia learnt the art of seduction, influence and manipulation – including how to interest a target, make them "addicted" to you and then programme them “to do what you want”.
"So it's all about psychological things, neuro-linguistic programming, how the brain works, all thrown together with sex techniques," she said.
After she graduated, she joined the FSB – the KGB’s modern successor which Putin was formerly in charge of – and said she was tasked with infiltrating drug and human trafficking gangs.
“When you are raised in a patriotic, communist country you are willing to sacrifice your life and your body," she said.
"You think ‘I’m doing such a great thing’. It's almost like going to war and dying as a hero. That’s how I felt.”
But things took a turn, she claims, when a high-ranking officer raped, abused and harassed her.
"I couldn’t say no, I couldn’t do anything," she said.
After she rejected his advances, he sent her on a dangerous mission and allegedly blew her cover in revenge, Aliia claimed.
Once exposed, she described being beaten half to death by the gang members before their leader – who she had been sent to honeytrap – saved her and helped her to flee Russia.
“He knew that by saving my life, he would be sacrificing his,” she said.
A NEW START
The ruthless thugs came after her and she hid from them in Turkey, Switzerland, Greece, France and Italy.
Her faux lover was killed and eventually the Russian state took down the whole gang.
The FSB continued to try to force her to return, she said, even finding her in Greece and threatening to take her one-year-old son from her.
“As a mother. I didn’t want to deal with this s*** anymore, like I was done. I completely cleaned myself out from this brainwashing system," she said.
“Then I started my public life."
Aliia moved to London and began infiltrating celebrity and exclusive circles – mingling with members of the royal family and fashion superstars.
She now lives in LA with her teenage son and has an Instagram glittering with red carpet appearances, famous faces and words of wisdom for her followers.
“The reason I live a public life and expose my face is because it’s almost my insurance and my son’s insurance," the mum said.
“The more public I am, the more I can be free. Thank God, after 20 years – I can be free."
But the former spy insists it is possible to "use these KGB techniques for good".
And despite living a retired life of luxury, Aliia wants to help Russians understand what's really happening in the Ukraine war.
She said: "You cannot just say, ‘Oh, you know what? Screw it. I just want to live my life and enjoy it and just travel the world'.
"I strongly disagree with the war. And that's why I started to speak out, because I was trained and raised to protect people."
I strongly disagree with the war. And that's why I started to speak out
Back at home, she claims that plenty of Russians cannot really tell what’s happening, especially older people. They don’t know how to access non-state media, use a VPN or speak English.
“They only know what's written in Russian, which is completely bulls***," she said.
"So, it is part of how they manipulate the masses through the media.
“Knowledge is your main weapon… that's why these are secret techniques. [Spy agencies] would never want it to be public, because it’s a power.
"And that's why I'm giving this to people, especially women, so women can be empowered.
“Because I was abused and harassed and I was under male dominance for a very long time. I feel it's my mission and it's my job to educate and share this knowledge with women."
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She added: "I'm standing for peace and this is my choice and thank God now I live in America, where I can speak openly and freely.
“I chose freedom and I chose life.”
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