Kremlin insists ‘We have only one Putin’ after new body double rumours
‘Experts are guessing, are there three or four doubles? We have only one Putin.'
The Kremlin issued an extraordinary statement insisting: ‘We have only one Putin.’
Russian search engine Yandex has seen record numbers of queries as to whether the 71-year-old dictator has died.
A Japanese study using hi-tech AI science suggested there are several Putins, assumed to be actors who have undergone plastic surgery and training by his ex-KGB secret service.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov addressed the speculation head-on at a major Moscow exhibition dedicated to Russian achievements, telling the crowd: ‘You must know, I guess you have read various Telegram channels [which report} on the number of doubles of President Putin.
‘Experts are guessing, are there three or four doubles?
‘The one we are seeing daily, that one who was laying flowers at the …monument [on Red Square] earlier this morning… Was this double number three, or double number four?
‘But we have only one Putin.’
He was greeted with laughter and applause by an invited loyalist audience.
Several Russian sources have accused the Kremlin of hiding from the world that Putin died last month after long-term cancer in the midst of his war against Ukraine.
There have now even been claims his nearest and dearest held a wake for the departed dictator.
The suggestion borders on the absurd, surmising that his entourage are in charge of one or several Putin lookalikes, manipulating them like puppets – along with wielding control of the nuclear button.
Many dismiss these stories as conspiracy theories.
There is also the version that this is a Putin ploy to smoke out his enemies.
Yet Peskov took time to issue a denial, the third time this year he has gone on the record to dismiss the doppelgänger speculation.
The most recent photos of Putin taken on Russia’s Unity Day on Saturday showed the Russian president meeting several people as he laid flowers at a monument on Red Square.
They contrast sharply with the Putin who retreated into isolation during the pandemic.
Despite Covid being rife again in Russia, he is seen in propaganda footage up and close with mutli-faith leaders in Moscow, and embracing a tragic boy whose father was slain on the third day of his invasion of Ukraine which has now cost the lives of hundreds of thousands.
The boy told the autocrat that he had entered the Moscow Presidential Cadet School to become a military man, like his father.
Telegram channel General SVR tells its followers that Russia is now secretly being commanded by a puppet-master – virulently anti-Western Nikolai Patrushev, Putin’s chief security aide and former FSB chief.
Russian political analyst Valery Solovey – a former professor at Moscow’s prestigious Institute of International Relations [MGIMO], a training academy for spies and diplomats – also insists Putin passed away.
‘He died in the evening around 8.40 pm on Thursday, October 26,’ he claimed in an interview with respected Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon.
‘Now he is in the refrigerator compartment of his residence in Valdai.
‘Humiliating, isn’t it? Well, probably deservedly so. There is no doubt about his physical death. Absolutely none, not the slightest.’
Last month Peskov insisted: ‘These [kinds of stories] belong to the category of fake news, discussed with enviable tenacity by a number of media outlets.
‘This brings nothing but a smile [in the Kremlin].’
In April, Peskov admitted that reports were rife about Putin’s doppelgängers but claimed the warmonger was ‘mega-active’.
‘Perhaps you had heard that Putin has multiple doubles, who work instead of him while he is sitting inside a bunker,’ he said.
‘This is yet more lies. This is one more lie. You see our president. He is just as he used to be – mega-active.’
Meanwhile, speculation is rife that Putin is poised to announce a run for another six-year term as Russian president.
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