Tale of Two Putins: Did Russian Media Accidentally Reveal a Presidential Double?

A tweet by Volodymyr Tretyak, an apparent supporter of Ukraine in its war against Russia, has piqued the interest once more about the potential existence of multiple Russian President Vladimir Putin’s – aka body doubles. The tweet points out a peculiar situation where the Russian strongman appears to be in two different places simultaneously, raising questions about the use of Putin’s doubles and the motives behind such actions.

Tretyak’s tweet highlights an observation surfacing in the Telegram channel of former Soviet Air Force colonel Victor Alksnis, which suggests that Putin attended various events within a short span of time that seems impossible, as reported by official Kremlin media. The identity of the message’s author is uncertain.

According to the message, Putin supposedly participated in a meeting of the Russian Security Council via videoconference, while simultaneously attending a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden and visiting the Victory Museum. The timeline presented in the tweet seems implausible, prompting speculation about the involvement of look-alikes or doubles.

The author of the message, who initially expressed skepticism towards the concept of Putin’s doubles, states that the official transcript of the Security Council meeting indicates it began at 11:55 Moscow time, followed by Putin’s appearance at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier just 20 minutes later. The timeline raises doubts about whether a journey from the Kremlin to Alexander Garden could be completed within such a short duration.

The subsequent events, including Putin’s visit to the Victory Museum and a meeting with the prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar, further fuel the speculation. The author questions the identity of the Putin present at the Security Council meeting, pondering whether it was the real Putin, one of his doubles, or even a combination of multiple individuals performing specific tasks.

The tweet also points out the live feed of the Security Council meeting provided by RIA Novosti news agency, which commenced at 12:03 p.m., adding to the intrigue surrounding the situation. TASS reported discussions between Putin and the Sovbet regarding the situation in the CFE zone, starting at 12:00 p.m.

These puzzling circumstances have prompted widespread curiosity and concern, leading to discussions about the potential use of look-alikes by the Russian leadership.

It is crucial to note that these claims and speculations require further investigation to ascertain their validity. The concept of political figures utilizing doubles or look-alikes has been a subject of intrigue and conspiracy theories throughout history. However, concrete evidence to support such claims remains elusive.

However, it is not the first time that Putin using a double was floated as a speculation. In March, during Putin’s unexpected visit to the occupied regions of Ukraine, Petro Andryushchenko, an advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, a Ukrainian city under siege that the Russian leader visited, stated on Telegram that “Putin or one of his doubles” had stayed overnight in the occupied area.

This information was reported by The Washington Post and later republished by The Local Today. However, the original article has since been revised, eliminating any mentions of Putin employing a body double.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, the head of military intelligence in Ukraine, revealed that the Russian leader employs a group of look-alikes to conceal Putin’s diminishing control within the Kremlin. According to Budanov, these doubles were previously only spotted substituting for Putin on “special occasions,” but since the invasion of Ukraine, their presence has become a regular practice.

“We know specifically about three people that keep appearing, but how many there are, we don’t know,” Budanov told the outlet in October. “They all had plastic surgery to look alike.”

Earlier this month, the Kremlin asserted that a supposed martial law declaration by Putin was deepfaked. The fabricated address featured an AI-generated Putin, announcing a “state of martial law” had been declared in the Belgorod, Voronezh, and Rostov regions due to imminent attacks from Ukrainian forces. He added that he would be signing a decree for full-scale mobilization, “to defeat this dangerous and cunning enemy.”

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for the Kremlin, addressed the situation shortly after, asserting that the martial law declaration was the result of a hacking incident. 

Rumors suggesting the existence of body doubles impersonating Putin have been denied by the Kremlin. Peskov addressed in April various fabrications regarding Russia in a speech that covered the nation’s history post the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the factors behind the Ukraine conflict, and the supposed deceitfulness of Western society.

“You have probably heard that he [Putin] has very many doubles who work instead of him while he sits in a bunker,” Peskov said at a Moscow conference, “Yet another lie.”

Peskov added that Putin’s energy can only be envied and “his health can, God willing, only be wished for.” The Kremlin spokesperson also belied Putin’s alleged frequent retreats to a nuclear bunker.

The Kremlin has consistently refuted speculations about Putin’s health issues, asserting that the paramount leader of Russia since 1999 remains in good health.

Information for this story was found via AlJazeera, Business Insider, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

One thought on “Tale of Two Putins: Did Russian Media Accidentally Reveal a Presidential Double?

  • June 23, 2023 12:24 PM at 12:24 pm

    Wouldn’t a more plausible theory be that the time stamps were wrong / falsified, and the overzealous propaganda of Alksnis wanted to make it appear he was everywhere. Russian propagandists are typically too lazy to fact check and too arrogant to care if there is blow back. They will just lie.


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