NewsPutin's puzzling appearance fanning body double rumors: Plastic surgery mishap or shadowy stand-ins?

Putin's puzzling appearance fanning body double rumors: Plastic surgery mishap or shadowy stand-ins?

Vladimir Putin denies using body doubles.
Vladimir Putin denies using body doubles.
Images source: © Getty Images | Contributor

10:32 AM EST, December 17, 2023

In a recurring scenario, Vladimir Putin is in public view, but rather than concentrating on his words, everyone is captivated by his appearance and behavior. He has displayed physical weaknesses in the past, such as problems with his leg or arm. Now, his cheeks have caught the public’s attention.

Almost as though he had an unsuccessful plastic surgery procedure.

Is this the result of a medical procedure, or has something stricken the president of Russia, yet again? The Russian people don’t know, but the speculation continues. Some believe it might not be Putin, but a quickly prepared body double, so hastily readied that signs of surgical procedures haven’t faded away. Sometimes the peculiarities are there, at other times they are not.

According to some observers, this evidence hints that the Russian leader utilizes body doubles - not just one, but several. Why? To govern the country, visit soldiers at the frontline, conduct meetings in Moscow, and even to liaise with his allies. And let's not forget about running an election campaign...

One person, especially one who is elderly and paranoid about assassination, couldn't manage all this. But with the aid of body doubles, who have been adequately prepared? Then every daunting task seems manageable. Especially if the doubles can be controlled and kept under a tight rein so that they don't get too self-assured.

But what about Vladimir Putin's or his double’s inexplicable cheeks?

The Kremlin has been dismissive of rumors for years that Vladimir Putin employs body doubles. Nevertheless, the evidence suggests otherwise. Experts reckon that Putin has been secluded in his residence since the start of the invasion, appearing live only a handful of times. All other undertakings are performed by his body doubles, allegedly two or even three of them.

Vladimir Putin or his double with visible signs of plastic surgery
Vladimir Putin or his double with visible signs of plastic surgery© Telegram
"I have decided that only one person can look like me and speak with my voice. And that person is me," Vladimir Putin professed with confidence.

Udmurt, Banquet, Diplomat - these are the monikers the media have attributed to Vladimir Putin's body doubles. There seems to be some truth in this as, over the summer, the Russian president was purportedly in the country and the occupied Mariupol simultaneously. Moreover, he is seriously ill, a fact that has been evident for years. At times, he appears energized, while at other moments, he seems worn out and listless.

Besides those cheeks - the facial detail experts concentrate on - there are numerous other signs suggesting a man hiding from public scrutiny. It's not astonishing; in the Russian president's position, most would choose to stay in their refuge too.

See also