Ukrainian officials say Russian President Vladimir Putin is using at least three body doubles as he attempts to conceal the degree to which his health has declined from public view.
Putin has been the subject of rumors for months as people around the world notice perceived facial changes.
Ukrainian military intelligence spokesperson Andriy Yusov is quoted by The Sun as saying, “It’s not just possible, he has doubles. This is a fact.”
He remarked that Putin has three doubles and alleged that it is a sign the Russian regime is unstable. Yosov said Moscow attempts to portray an image that it is “the Big Brother who is watching you. But in reality, is not big and it is not your brother – and may not be even him.”
Yosov added, “This also means that the Kremlin is scared. It shows their fear and understanding that their construction is a house of cards that stands on the image of Putin the dictator. If you take away the crutches in the form of Putin’s doubles, the construction would fall apart and show itself to be very unstable.”
Ukrainian officials offered no evidence for their claims.
Some are poking fun at the Russian president, stating that he got “butt filler” injected into his face after recent video footage seems to show him with puffy cheeks.
The Kremlin recently issued a statement through Dmitry Peskov, the Russian presidential press secretary, who exclaimed, “We have only one Putin!”
Rumors and allegations about Putin and his health are not new.
Last month, Moscow was forced to deny a widely shared report that Putin had died at home and that a body double was being used in his place.
The message posted to the Telegram channel General SVR stated: “Attention! There is currently an attempted coup in Russia! Russian President Vladimir Putin died this evening at his residence in Valdai.”
Peskov jokingly dismissed the body double claims, saying they belong “to the category of absurd information fakes that a whole series of media discuss with enviable tenacity. This evokes nothing but a smile.”