NEW DELHI: Is Russian President Vladimir Putin using body doubles to avoid public glare? Well, Ukrainians surely believe so.
Amid rumours circulating thick and fast about the “deteriorating health” of Putin, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Major General Kyrylo Budanov is convinced that the Russian President is deploying body doubles to avoid exposing himself to the public, according to a report on Newsweek.
In a recent interview to a Ukrainian TV channel, Budanov claimed that in his recent public appearances, Putin’s habits, appearance, gait and even height seem to have changed slightly.

Giving an example, the intelligence chief pointed out that Putin’s ears look different from those seen in his earlier pictures.
“…It’s like a fingerprint, each person’s ear picture is unique. It cannot be repeated,” he said, without offering concrete evidence to back up his claims.
Budanov went on to claim that Putin is “seriously ill” and “it is not a big secret anymore.”
Ukrainian Major General Vadym Skibitsky had made similar claims in an interview to The Telegraph.
“He uses a lot of doubles … and sometimes it is difficult to detect if it is the real Putin or someone replacing him,” the general had said.
Speculation has been rife about Putin’s health ever since he ordered the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February this year.
Several media outlets as well as independent observers across the world have been closely noticing Putin’s recent public appearance for signs of health issues and weakness.
In a recent video, Putin appeared to be unable to use his right arm to swat away a mosquito buzzing near his face, while he used his left arm to scratch around his head.
In another interview, the Russian President was seen gripping the table and slouching while answering the questions.
Though Kremlin has categorically denied these rumours, the speculation has only grown stronger in the recent weeks.

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