Kremlin spokesperson denies doppelganger: "We have only one Putin"

Moscow, Russia - Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has publicly mocked speculation about alleged doubles of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin and Kremlin spokespeople have rejected claims that the Russian president uses a body double.
Vladimir Putin and Kremlin spokespeople have rejected claims that the Russian president uses a body double.  © Sputnik/Grigory Sysoev/Pool via REUTERS

"Now experts are puzzling over whether there are three or four and who it is we see every day," Peskov said to young people in Moscow on Saturday, referring to discussions on social networks about possible doubles of the president. "We have only one Putin!"

Peskov was speaking at the Rossiya forum with a large exhibition on the achievements of the world's largest country in terms of surface area under the leadership of Putin, who has ruled Russia for more than 20 years and is also likely to run in the next presidential election scheduled for March.

Peskov has recently repeatedly rejected reports that Putin was using doubles or was ill. For example, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, has repeatedly claimed that Putin was terminally ill.

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The "dictator" had no fewer than three doppelgangers who had been adapted to Putin's appearance by means of plastic surgery, Budanov has said.

Putin himself once said that he had been advised to use a double for official appointments in the past for security reasons. "The idea came up, but I refrained from using doubles," he said.

Putin gears up for likely reelection campaign

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with members of public associations while marking Russia's Day of National Unity in Moscow on November 4, 2023.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with members of public associations while marking Russia's Day of National Unity in Moscow on November 4, 2023.  © Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via REUTERS

There is constant speculation about the health of the 71-year-old, who has been in power for almost 25 years – mainly as president, but also as prime minister.

Putin himself likes to emphasize that he keeps fit through sport. How healthy the Russian president is, however, is a question in Russia ahead of the presidential election.

Putin has not yet announced his candidacy, but it is generally expected that he will be re-elected.

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The huge Rossiya exhibition, which opened on Saturday, showcases Russia's development under Putin in 14 pavilions at the WDNCh exhibition center until April.

The more than 80 regions of the country are presented, from Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea to Siberia and Kamchatka on the Pacific and from the Arctic in the north to the Caucasus in the south.

The regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk and Luhansk, which belong to Ukraine and which Putin wants to take over completely in the course of his war, as well as the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was illegally annexed in 2014, are also presented at the exhibition as part of Russia.

Cover photo: Sputnik/Grigory Sysoev/Pool via REUTERS

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