Report: Putin Using Body Double to Avoid Assassination
Russian President Vladimir Putin is purportedly using a body double to prevent an assassination.
The Daily Star reports the Russian leader is enlisting a body double for Kremlin meetings and as a "decoy" for excursions.
Putin's body double is believed to live in Moscow's presidential complex and has been trained "to walk like the Russian leader."
"We know Putin is paranoid about his security and this move just shows how seriously his team are taking the threat against his life," an unnamed source told the Star.
"I would not be at all surprised if we hear in the next few months that Putin has died and the reason given will be a heart attack or a long-term illness."
"I doubt," the source adds, "they will admit it was an internal coup."
So far, around 15,000 Russians have died since the conflict in Ukraine began. Additionally, American officials have said Russia is currently operating without a central command on the ground.
"We have information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military which has resulted in persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership," White House head of communications Kate Bedingfield said.
While no reports have confirmed the speculation of a Putin body double, it would not be the first time a Russian leader has used one. During the WWII era, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin employed four body doubles.
According to Metro, one of the lookalikes, dancer Felix Dadaev, mentioned the experience in his autobiography.
In it, Dadaev explains how the doubles were instructed to mimic their leader's movement and mannerisms.
"By the time my makeup and training were complete, I was like him in every way, except perhaps my ears," Dadaev wrote. "They were too small."
But in 2020, Putin was asked by a reporter, according to The Daily Mail, if he was "the real Putin?"
"Yes," he replied. While the Russian president denied using any body doubles he did agree that the topic had "popped up."