Mumbai, January 15: There has been long-standing speculation that Russia President Vladimir Putin is unwell and uses body doubles to stand in for him at public engagements for health or security reasons. Amid the viral claims about Vladimir Putin health update, a former Russian MP has claimed that the rumours of Russian President’s body doubles and ill-health are part of his own deception strategy.

According to the British tabloid Daily Star, Ilya Ponomarev, who leads a group of pro-Ukrainian rebels, said that Putin is obsessed with his own mortality and tries to mislead the public about his location, condition and intentions. Ponomarev told The Sun that he thinks Vladimir Putin and his allies are behind the rumours of his doubles and his serious health issues. He said that this way, Putin can avoid any real threats to his life or power, as people will not trust any genuine reports of his problems. He also said that Putin’s potential enemies will think that killing him is futile, as he has many lookalikes. Vladimir Putin Health Update: Russia President Uses Body Doubles, Keeps a Quarantine Room for Staff, Says Report.

In October last year, the Kremlin ridiculed the rumours of Russian President Vladimir Putin using the body doubles to stand in for him at public engagements. “Everything is fine with him, this is absolutely another fake,” Peskov said, according to a Reuters translation, denying a further question on whether Putin uses any body doubles. Vladimir Putin Urges Traditionally Male Professions To Employ More Women, Says 'Girls Represent a Huge Reserve for Russia'.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would run for president again in the Russian presidential election in 2024, a move expected to keep him in power until at least 2030. The 71-year-old Putin, who was handed the presidency by Boris Yeltsin on the last day of 1999, has already served as President for longer than any other ruler of Russia since Josef Stalin, beating even Leonid Brezhnev's 18-year tenure.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 15, 2024 09:19 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website