'Russia is just trying to defend its right to exist,' President Vladimir Putin said


  • Budanov said that they can tell Putin apart from the body doubles when comparing their height
  • He also wondered if Putin is still the person making key decisions in the war in Ukraine
  • Putin previously revealed he was offered a body double in the early 2000s during the second Chechen war

A Ukrainian official has claimed that there are three body doubles who have received plastic surgery to stand in for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Speaking in an interview with The Daily Mail on Monday, Ukrainian military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov said that they can tell Putin apart from the body doubles when comparing their height and earlobes.

"We know specifically about three people that keep appearing, but how many there are, we don't know. They all had plastic surgery to look alike," Budanov said. "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."

During the interview, Budanov also asked if "the real Putin still exists" and wondered if he was still the one making key decisions in the war in Ukraine.

Budanov's statement was later highlighted by the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine in a tweet posted Monday, as translated using Google Translate.

The International Business Times could not independently verify Budanov's claims about Putin using multiple body doubles.

This is not the first time Budanov made similar claims about Putin deploying body doubles. In August, the Ukrainian intelligence chief suggested that the Russian leader's ears looked different across several public appearances.

"The picture, let's say, of the ears, is different," Budanov said during an appearance on the Ukrainian TV channel "Groshi," as translated by The Sun. "And it's like a fingerprint, each person's ear picture is unique. It cannot be repeated."

In a 2018 International Business Times report, claims about Putin using body doubles were believed to be "one of the more unusual conspiracy theories." At the time, a Twitter user posted three photographs of the Russian president taken over time and claimed the images showed three different people. The Twitter post was deleted later.

Putin previously revealed that he was offered a body double but said he "discarded the idea" in the early 2000s while Russia was engaged in the second Chechen war. The Russian leader did not offer a reason behind his rejecting the proposal to use body doubles, as per the Associated Press.

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