Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Luhansk Region


  • A Ukrainian top official last week alleged it was a body double who visited Kherson and not Putin himself
  • Another Ukrainian official had also claimed that Putin used a body double to visit Mariupol
  • Putin's former KGB colleague claims Russia often uses body doubles for important events

Russia on Monday denied rumors that President Vladimir Putin is using a body double, adding that the Russian leader is "super active." This comes amid speculations that the Russian leader is suffering from severe illnesses.

Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov dismissed claims made by former Kremlin insiders alleging that the Russian leader often hid in his bunker after launching the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

"We heard [people say] that Putin has a lot of doubles who work for him while he is sitting in the bunker. Another lie. You see what kind of president we have. Actually, he is as he always was, he is a super active person," Peskov was quoted as saying by the Russian propaganda news agency RIA Novosti, as translated by Ukrainska Pravda.

"Those who work with him can barely keep up with him. One can only envy his energy. God forbid, you can wish only for his health. Of course, he did not sit out in any bunkers. This is also a lie," he added.

Peskov's remarks come a week after Oleksii Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, claimed that it was not Putin but a body double who visited the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson and Luhansk oblasts on April 18.

"Well, first of all, Putin was not there. This is a well-known fact. In order to communicate with the real Putin, you must spend at least 10–14 days in quarantine. There was no Putin there. There was an ordinary double, of which he has more than one; this is also a well-known fact," Danilov said during a national joint 24/7 newscast.

Danilov was not the only Ukrainian official to claim that Putin is using a body double. In March, Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's Defense Ministry (GRU), said that while footage of Putin's supposed visit to Mariupol showed a person with his likeness, there was no evidence to prove that it was indeed the Russian leader.

Apart from Ukrainian officials, former KGB spy and Putin's ex-KGB colleague Sergey Zhirnov said Russia often used "body doubles" for important events, adding that the Russian leader appeared with a wider face in an event on Feb. 22 compared to his appearance during an event the day before.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visiting Mariupol
Russian President Vladimir Putin visiting temporarily occupied Mariupol KREMLIN.RU/Reuters