Vladimir Putin: New reports suggest the ‘real Putin’ hasn’t been since for months

There have been several rumours over the years that Vladimir Putin is paranoid and uses body doubles to protect himself. The Kremlin has denied these rumours.

Vladimir Putin hasn't been seen for months
© Epsilon / Getty Images
Vladimir Putin hasn't been seen for months

Vladimir Putin has been in power since 1999, alternating between Prime Minister and President. Putin has announced that he plans to run for the next presidential campaign. Over the years, there have been several rumours concerning Vladimir Putin’s mental health and well-being.

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Indeed, some believe that the Russian President is physically ill and others have also suggested that he has mental health problems, including paranoia. Due to this, some experts believe that Vladimir Putin uses body doubles for some of his appearances and also forces those he meets to ‘quarantine’ beforehand. A Russian media outlet has studied Putin’s latest appearances, and here are their findings.

Vladimir Putin is allegedly paranoid

As reported by Mirror, the Russian media outlet, Proekt, has investigated Vladimir Putin’s most recent events and believes that those who meet the Russian President must spend time in a ‘clean zone’.

It is believed that this alleged ‘clean zone’ started at the Sochi-based sanatorium 'Rus', which is now used as a boarding house for only those who have been quarantined, to live and work.

Proekt investigators analysed Putin’s official events between November 1, 2022, and October 31, 2023. In the space of a year, the Russian President took part in 521 events, and according to Mirror, in 43% of these events, he was seen keeping a distance from those he was meeting.

In 2023, Vladimir Putin has taken part in 113 video meetings, including most of the Security Council meetings and all the government meetings. When Putin does have face-to-face meetings, the Kremlin allegedly puts in place ‘wild security measures’, as per Proekt investigators.

Vladimir Putin allegedly uses body doubles

The rumour surrounding Vladimir Putin using body doubles has been around for quite a while, but this rumour has increased since the start of the Ukraine War. As per Mirror, the Russian President has often used his ‘action man’ image as a fan of judo. However, since turning 71 in October, there has been an increasing amount of rumours concerning Putin’s health.

According to Mirror, some believe that Putin’s recent attitude and actions are strange. Indeed, in June, the Russian President visited Derbent in Southern Russia, just a few days after the failed Wagner rebellion. Video footage of this event showed Vladimir Putin diving into a night-time crowd, which is unusual behaviour for Putin.

In 2020, the Kremlin denied the rumours that Putin was using body doubles:

Perhaps you had heard that Putin has multiple doubles, who work instead of him while he is sitting inside a bunker. This is yet more lies. This is one more lie. You see our President. He is just as he used to be - mega-active.

Ukrainian military intelligence Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov has claimed that the ‘real Putin’ hasn’t been seen since June 2022. As per Mirror, he said in September:

The one, who everyone used to know, was last seen around 26 June 2022

However, the Russian President has previously admitted that his aides have offered him to use body doubles, but he rejected the proposition.

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Sources used:

Mirror: ‘Vladimir Putin does use body doubles and makes staff isolate, Russian investigation claims’

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