A video claiming Vladimir Putin is using multiple body doubles for trips he doesn’t want to make is going viral on Russian social media.
It comes in the wake of speculation that the Russian President’s only trip so far to newly-invaded territory in Mariupol, Ukraine was performed by a doppelgänger.
Kyiv official Anton Gerashchenko posted three images of Putin’s chin following the visit and questioned whether they belonged to the same man.
He taunted: “What’s up with your chin, Putin?”
The Interior Minister advisor posted: “Looks like lately, his make-up artists [i.e. for the recent trips of the bunker man to the occupied Crimea and Mariupol] had to work with quite a low-quality copy, not even a double but its copy.
“I wonder which one of them was real?”
The viral social media video says: "Who visited Mariupol? Specialists long ago noticed the differences between the Russian president’s body doubles.
“A ledge on Putin’s earlobe constantly changes. As does a small mole on his face.
“One of the Putins has straight wrinkles on his face, the other has small and interrupted [wrinkles].
“This is impossible even if he had botox injections.”
Putin is widely believed to have had regular plastic surgery as he has aged since first becoming acting president on the last day of 1999.
Rumours are rife that the warmonger's “understudies” - who have undergone plastic surgery to resemble him - are deployed increasingly as his health worsens amid rumours of cancer and early-stage Parkinson’s.
“Evidently the weakest double was sent to Mariupol,” states the video in Russian.
“They forgot to put in his jaw.”
It questions if this 'double' has false teeth.
It concludes by asking: “After all, how many Putins do we have? Who is ruling Russia?”
Earlier Ukraine mocked Putin for allegedly “sending a lookalike to war-ravaged Mariupol” in a high-security visit.
One picture showed Putin, 70, a month ago in an address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow.
Another was Putin’s reported visit to the naval port Sevastopol in Crimea on 18 March.
And the third was from footage released the following day evidently showing the dictator in war-blitzed Mariupol.
The first image showed his chin tight and precise.
But in the image in Sevastopol from 2014, he has a sagging chin, while the Mariupol chin appears firmer but less so than in the Moscow picture.
Two former Putin associates have also suggested he uses doubles.
A former KGB spy who studied with him at espionage school, Sergei Zhirnov, said he had believed until now that claims of Putin using doppelgängers were “conspiracy theories”, but has changed his mind.
He said when comparing two appearances: “a totally different Putin pops up” with “a wider face as if he bloated in 24 hours."
And a former Putin speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov warned that the existence of several doubles poses a risk if Russia lurches into a coup because of his failing war policies.
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“The presence of a double can interfere: you think that you have arrested Putin, but it turns out that you have held his understudy,” he said.
“You can arrest a stand-in, show him on TV signing his ‘resignation’, and announce the transfer of power to the Prime Minister or to some Committee of National Salvation.”
He stated: “In short, if the doppelganger exists, then the people responsible for his movements are potentially very important participants in the process and the organisers of the conspiracy should not forget about them.”