Fake Putin? Body double suspicions raised after Russian president's 'waxwork' selfie with key ally Ramzan Kadyrov

30 June 2023, 13:01

A Putin selfie has sparked speculation that he is using body-doubles
A Putin selfie has sparked speculation that he is using body-doubles. Picture: Twitter/Getty

By Kit Heren

Suspicions have been raised that Vladimir Putin is using body doubles after a photo emerged of the Russian president looking strangely wax-like.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Putin was seen pictured with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a key ally who stood by the Russian president in during the Wagner uprising.

The despot appeared to resemble a waxwork, according to some onlookers online, fuelling speculation that he is using doppelgangers.

The notoriously health-paranoid Putin is known to insist on visitors quarantining before meetings, and keeping his distance from people in meetings.

But he has appeared in several photo recently in close proximity with others, including the picture with Kadyrov.

Read more: Putin draws bizarre smiley face and poses for selfies, as Kremlin 'cleans house' after failed Wagner Group march

Read more: VP of Russian bank Kristina Baikova, 28, falls to her death from window of Moscow apartment

The picture with the Chechen leader was shared on Twitter by Anton Gerashchenko, Ukraine's advisor to the minister of internal affairs and a vocal Putin critic.

He wrote: "In the photo, Kadyrov is very large and overwhelms Putin, who looks very small and old.

"By the way, how many days did Kadyrov spend in quarantine before the meeting? Or is it not necessary for THIS Putin?"

Chechnya is an autonomous republic within Russia. The republic attempted to break away from Russia twice in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with Kadyrov's father a key leader, but has since become a key pillar of the Putin regime.

It comes as Russia continues to "clean house" after the failed Wagner uprising over last weekend, with reports that Putin and his allies are purging the ranks of top security, army and government officials of people suspected to have helped Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin. Picture: Alamy

Fears of assassination attempts have risen in Russia after Prigozhin's mutiny against the Kremlin.

He is now reportedly staying in a ‘windowless’ hotel room over fears he could be pushed to his death.

Meanwhile several reports in Russian and Western media claimed that Sergey Surovikin, the second in command of the Russian regular forces in Ukraine, had been arrested, because of rumoured plans to oust defence minister Sergei Shoigu.

Kremlin political consultant Sergei Markov said: "Surovikin is probably being interrogated for many hours over many days. Not because he is the main suspect, but because he is the best informed.

"He was the main point of contact between the defence ministry and Wagner, so he knows more than anyone".

Surovikin, who commanded Russian forces in Ukraine for three months up until January 2023, has not been seen in public since the day the attempted Wagner coup was launched.But the general's daughter insisted that everything was "fine".