Friday, 8 Dec 2023

Putin ‘body double’ rumours explode after Russian leader’s bizarre comment

Footage shows Putin ‘double’ taking photos with children

A bizarre comment by Russian leader Vladimir Putin has set off a fresh set of rumours that the despot isn’t actually who he says he is.

A series of unusual clips – and further rumours about the health of the tyrant – have led many to believe he may be using body doubles for public appearances.

They have become so widespread that last month Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was forced to come out and directly deny them.

In a video that has been viewed over a million times on X, a young child asks the president: “Are you Putin?”

He responds: “Yes, yes. For now, I am”, according to the translation.

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Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Anton Gerashchenko, shared the clip, writing: “‘Putin’s double’ doesn’t hide it anymore?”

Mr Peskov had earlier denied the rumours, saying: “Everything is fine with him, this is absolutely another fake.”

He had been asked aboutan unsourced report by a Russian Telegram channel that the president had suffered a serious health episode.

The spokesman laughed in response to a further question about body doubles, and denied that Putin had any.

“This belongs to the category of absurd information hoaxes that a whole series of media discuss with enviable tenacity. This evokes nothing but a smile,” Peskov said.

But Peskov had to deny the rumours yet again today, making a joke about it in a video also shared by Mr Gerashchenko.

He said, according to the Ukrainian official’s translation: “Experts are now wondering if there are three of four. And who do we see every day now, is he the third or the fourth double? It’s unclear, isn’t it? But Putin is the only one.”

However a study by Japanese researchers has further contributed to online discussion over whether the Russian despot really is the one appearing in public.

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The research, aired by Japanese TV network TBS, is based on body movements, facial recognition, and voice comparison, and came to the conclusion he is likely using at least two doppelgängers.

For instance, on comparing the facial characteristics of this particular Putin with the one seen driving a Mercedes across the Crimean Bridge in December 2022, Japanese experts said there is just a 53 percent resemblance.

And an even lower similarity score of just 40 percent was observed between the parade Putin and the one who visited Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, in March 2023

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