Russian President Vladimir Putin has yet to publicly comment on the warrant from the International Criminal Court


  • Ukraine was not given any evidence to prove that Putin visited Mariupol
  • The person who was featured in the Saturday visit could have been a body double, Ukraine officials suggest
  • Experts are currently debating whether or not Putin is still alive

There was no evidence to prove that Russian President Vladimir Putin went to Mariupol, Ukrainian intelligence agencies claimed, amid speculation that a body double may have been the one who made a recent visit to the occupied Ukrainian city.

While footage shared by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti supposedly showed Putin going around Mariupol Saturday night, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's Defense Ministry, also known as the GRU, argued that there was no evidence to confirm that that person was the Russian head of state.

"[W]e were not given any evidence that Putin himself was in Mariupol," Andriy Yusov, a representative of the intelligence agency, said during a national broadcast Monday, according to a report by Interfax-Ukraine.

"Why are you sure that it was Vladimir Putin in Mariupol? We don't have any evidence that this person was Vladimir Putin. A man who looks like Vladimir Putin is indeed captured on this footage," he said.

The expert community is currently debating whether or not Putin is still alive, according to Yusov.

"[I]f he is alive, then we usually see meetings of the same Vladimir Putin at a long table at a huge distance from living people," he claimed, possibly referring to the conference table in the Kremlin complex that Putin uses to meet with officials.

There were also neither evening walks in Mariupol nor communication with civilians in the yards, Yusov noted.

"This is a good production," said the official, who praised Russian propaganda for knowing how to make "various staging sessions."

The person who appeared on the recent trip to Mariupol may have been either Putin or one of his body doubles, Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the exiled mayor of Mariupol, claimed in a Telegram post.

Major General Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the GRU, previously alleged in a television interview that Putin has been using lookalikes to avoid public appearances.

These doubles have different facial features, earlobes, chins, head shapes and even hairlines, according to Budanov.

While the shape of the face of the Putin doubles can be explained by plastic surgery or "beauty injections," other details remained suspicious, the official claimed.

"They [Putin's body doubles] have different habits, different mannerisms, different gaits, sometimes even different heights," claimed Budanov, who did not provide concrete evidence to back up his claims.

A local resident walks past a damaged apartment block in Mariupol