Putin's body doubles undergo plastic surgery to look like him, claims Ukrainian official
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Vladimir Putin’s body doubles undergo plastic surgery to look like the Russian president, a top Ukrainian official has claimed.
Major General Kyrylo Budanov, head of military intelligence for Ukraine, claims Putin is using at least three body doubles who he alleges have had ‘plastic surgery to look alike’ amid ongoing rumours about the Russian leader’s supposed health issues.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Budanov said: “The big question is whether the real Putin still exists?”
The military intelligence chief continued: "We know specifically about three people that keep appearing, but how many there are, we don't know."
He claims that Putin has used doubles in the past on ‘special occasions’ but that it has now become ‘usual practice’, saying ‘no matter how bad’ the president was in the past, he ‘was not an idiot’.
"We know specifically about three people that keep appearing, but how many there are, we don't know,” Budanov said.
“They all had plastic surgery to look alike.”
He added: "The one thing that gives them away is their height. It's visible in videos and pictures. Also gesturing, body language and earlobes, since they are unique for every person."
Budanov also expressed gratitude for the UK government’s ‘assistance’, saying he hopes the UK would continue to increase its political, economic and military support, especially as Ukraine was in ‘acute need’ of air defence systems.
Earlier this year, the military boss also argued that Putin's height and ears had changed in recent appearances, comparing pictures during a television interview, saying: "The picture, let's say, of the ears, is different... And it's like a fingerprint, each person's ear picture is unique. It cannot be repeated."
He said the body double has 'different habits, different mannerisms, different gaits, sometimes even different heights if you looked closely' to the Russian leader.
And Budanov isn't the only high-ranking Ukrainian to make such claims, with Major General Vadym Skibitsky saying Putin's inner circle is 'panicking' about the future.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Skibitsky said: "He uses a lot of doubles... and sometimes it is difficult to detect if it is the real Putin or someone replacing him."
While the top official believed the Russian leader is in a bad way 'mentally and physically', he felt Putin would stop at nothing to continue the war.
"The main strategic goal remains the same—the total destruction of Ukraine as a state," he explained.
"He's not likely to stop, he has no room for manoeuvre.
"He understands the resistance from Ukraine will remain very strong, therefore he destroys everything he sees as obstacles to this strategic goal."
Topics: News, Ukraine, World News, Vladimir Putin