Is it really Vladimir Putin?: Ukrainian official hints he was replaced by a body double in Iran

A top Ukrainian intelligence official has claimed that Vladimir Putin may have been replaced by a body double in Iran.

Major General Kyrylo O. Budanov has claimed that Vladimir Putin may have been replaced by a body double on his recent trip to Iran.

'Is it Putin at all?'

Budanov told Ukrainian outlet 1+1 that Putin appeared uncharacteristically lively during the visit, and suggested that the man seen in the footage wasn’t the Russian President. He said, as reported by New York Post:

I will only hint.
Please look at the moment of Putin’s exit from the plane. Is it Putin at all?

The Telegram channel General SVR claimed in May that body doubles had been put on standby to replace Putin if necessary as he underwent surgery. It is alleged that body doubles and pre-recorded footage of the Russian President attending meetings are used to make it appear as though he is still working and hide his poor health.

Putin has been offered body doubles before

Two years ago, Putin said he was offered the chance to hire a body double in the early 2000s to perform his duties for security reasons, however he ultimately rejected the idea, as reported by the BBC. Andrei Vandenko, a journalist who interviewed Putin for Russia's Tass news agency, asked him:

Are you real?

Putin responded he was real and said he 'declined these body doubles' every time he was offered them.

On Thursday 21 July, CIA director William Burns commented that Putin appeared 'entirely too healthy,' in contrast to previous US intelligence that claimed the Russian President’s health was declining and he was battling cancer.

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Vladimir Putin allegedly has a secret plot to escape to Iran Vladimir Putin allegedly has a secret plot to escape to Iran