Vladimir Putin's latest public appearance puts him in the spotlight, but for all the wrong reasons

Vladimir Putin has made a rare public appearance and was spotted wearing something unusual!

Vladimir Putin’s alleged insecurity revealed at rare public appearance
© Contributor / Getty Images
Vladimir Putin’s alleged insecurity revealed at rare public appearance

On Wednesday 25 January, Vladimir Putin visited students at Moscow State University for Russian Students Day. Pictures of the visit reveal one of the Russian President’s apparent insecurities.

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Putin spotted wearing heeled shoes

The head of the Kremlin has been seen wearing heeled shoes for years, but it is thought that the pair he wore on this most recent appearance, described as Cuban heels, are his highest yet. Putin is estimated to be 5ft 7in (170cm), while the average man in Russia is 5ft 10in (178cm).

Putin's apparent 'self-obsession' (he is often pictured shirtless) has been the subject of mockery for years. Daily Express describes it as a 'machismo obsession'. One social media user commented:

Russia’s president – a man so insecure and self-obsessed that he wears high heeled shoes.
And in an effort to make himself look even taller, then has smaller female students stand next to him.

Does Putin have small-man syndrome?

The Russian President’s height was made fun of by political figures back when Russia first invaded Ukraine. Tory MP Julian Lewis said in the House of Commons that Putin was 'firmly in the grip of small man syndrome'.

Ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the Telegraph in June 2022 that the Russian President is a 'relatively small man wearing high heels'.

Meanwhile, US Republican Senator Mitt Romney described him as 'small, evil, [and] feral-eyed'.

All of this talk of 'small-man syndrome' has led to speculation that Putin has Napoleon complex. This is defined as a domineering or aggressive attitude perceived as a form of overcompensation for being physically small or short.

Read more:

Vladimir Putin has a ‘Napoleon complex’ according to therapist

Were they a body double?

Telegram channel General SVR claims that the person at the visit was not actually the Russian President but his 'main double'. It is alleged that Putin, who is apparently ill and frequently absent, has a team of actors who have had plastic surgery to impersonate him. The channel said:

Many noticed some oddities and physiological features of the ‘president’
A person similar to Putin, unlike the original, was absolutely not afraid to be near a large number of little-known and completely unfamiliar people, which is not at all typical for the president in the past few years.
Obvious differences were observed on the face of pseudo-Putin and in the manner his behaviour.

General SVR claims that the person's left cheek and upper lip were 'unnatural', declared to be the 'result of an unsuccessful 'fitting''. It alleges the person had too many botox injections and some of their movements 'appear constrained'. The channel continued:

The stunt double's laughing style is different from Putin’s.
This public appearance of the president's double was not the most successful, but nothing can be done because Putin is not able to take part in such events.

Read more:

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

Sources used:

- Daily Express: 'Putin's machismo obsession sees him wear Cuban heels while photographed with students'

- Metro: 'Vladimir Putin mocked for wearing high heels during university visit'

- Mirror: 'Vladimir Putin body double 'spotted' after viewers notice clue in his shoes'

- Merriam-Webster: 'Napoleon complex'

Vladimir Putin's latest appearance for Russia Day is going viral, here's why Vladimir Putin's latest appearance for Russia Day is going viral, here's why