As the war in Ukraine rages on, growing ever more brutal as it does, there have been plenty of rumors swirling about the health of Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.
The first indication of Putin’s ailing health has been his behavior: Erratic, violent, and frankly twinged with a great deal of fatalism.
But then there were the Pentagon sources who seemed convinced that the former KGB agent is dying of terminal cancer, even going so far as to have transferred power to an associate during a lengthy surgery.
Now, adding fuel to the conspiratorial fire are claims that Putin is now using a body double.
This week, Ukraine‘s newly-appointed military intelligence chief, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, told Ukrainian TV that Putin’s height and even ears appear to have changed in recent appearances.
“The picture, let’s say, of the ears, is different,” he said during an appearance on the channel ‘Groshi’, meaning money.
“And it’s like a fingerprint, each person’s ear picture is unique. It cannot be repeated.”
Budanov was also cited by Ukrainian news outlet TSN as saying he believes the Russian president is seriously ill and using body doubles to avoid public appearances.
The allegations were dead serious.
He claimed that although very similar, the Putin body doubles “have different habits, different mannerisms, different gaits, sometimes even different heights if you looked closely”.
Budanov earlier claimed that Putin was replaced by a body double during a recent trip to Iran.
He told Ukraine’s 1+1 news channel that the president appeared more energetic than usual when he touched down for talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Please look at the moment of Putin’s exit from the plane,” he said. “Is it Putin at all?”
If true, the use of a body double would provide some serious corroboration regarding Putin’s health worries, and could lead to unrest and unease in Russia.