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27 Feb, 2020 10:19

Putin's here, there & everywhere? Russian President says idea of using lookalike once floated

Putin's here, there & everywhere? Russian President says idea of using lookalike once floated

For a long time, rumors persisted in Russia that Vladimir Putin was using a double or two. Now the Russian President has revealed the idea was once considered, but rejected.

The notion that the original Putin, who became Russian prime minister in 1999, is long dead is among the more popular conspiracy theories doing the rounds. Believers have come up with diagrams showing purported lookalikes of the Russian president, each alleged to have a specific purpose.

Well, according to Putin himself, there is a tiny grain of truth behind the theory. His administration actually floated the idea of hiring a double to stand in his place during public appearances as a precaution in the event of an assassination attempt, he acknowledged during an interview with TASS.

"This was during the toughest time of our war against terrorism," he said. But the idea was discarded by the president.

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The issue came up as Putin was discussing the digitalization of the Russian economy. "Putin lookalike proof" was among the most-searched items on the Russian internet along with "Putin age" and "Putin Instagram."

The claim that Putin uses a lookalike is actually quite old. In 2000, the head of the FSO, the Russian agency tasked with providing personal security for top officials, angrily called it "nonsense," saying using such trickery would have been an acknowledgement of incompetence on the part of his people.

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