The Internet Thinks It Wasn’t the Real Putin Who Gave Russia A New Year Message

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s New Year’s Eve speech is fueling more speculation about his well-being. People are claiming that the broadcast, which was served to all of Russia, looks suspiciously AI-like because of odd movements around the authoritarian leader’s neck.

Igor Sushko, an activist from the Wind Of Change Research Group, suggests the use of avatars or body doubles. He also points out that the video, normally released in 720p high-definition resolution, was only released in 360p this year. Rumors of Putin’s death and the use of body doubles have circulated for years, with recent denials from the Kremlin doing little to quell public doubts.

In October, a Japanese news outlet released its investigation that analyzed Putin’s recent appearances using facial recognition, voice analysis, and body movement. They concluded that Putin has used at least two body doubles in the past year. They also suggest that he has been using them more frequently, and even at speaking engagements.

This was shortly after reports about Putin suffering a cardiac arrest surfaced on the General SVR Telegram channel, complete with a dramatic description that security officers at the president’s residence heard noises and found Putin on the floor next to an overturned table.

Additionally, discrepancies in Putin’s public appearances, including a refusal to stand within 70 feet of the UK ambassador during a diplomatic ceremony, have raised more questions. Ukrainian intelligence officials have gone as far as claiming that the real Putin has not been seen since June 26, 2022. 

While some dismiss these allegations as unfounded, the persistent rumors and recent events surrounding Putin’s public appearances continue to contribute to a growing sense of uncertainty about the Russian president’s status. The use of AI technology and facial recognition analyses only add to the intrigue surrounding Putin’s presence, prompting increased speculation both domestically and internationally.

Separately, X user LX shared an unconfirmed report that Ukraine’s Security Service hacked the broadcast, instead showing an AI-generated video of Putin talking about “great losses, and crazy spending on the war, and about migration policy and much more” to seven regions in the Russian Federation.

Note that while the mouth movement is an obvious giveaway, the body strangely seemed to move more naturally than the actual Putin in the original New Year’s eve address video.


Information for this story was found via X, and the sources and companies 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.

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