Suggestions that Putin deployed a body double to recent meeting in Iran

Municipal council that called for Putin to resign has been dissolved by St Petersburg court order

Image of Vladimir Putin. Credit: Sasa Dzambic Photography/

It has been suggested by Ukrainian military intelligence that Vladimir Putin sent a body double to the recent meeting in Iran.

Speaking on television in Ukraine this Saturday, July 23, Major-General Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a body double to last week’s meeting in Iran, according to

Budanov claimed that Putin was possibly not the person who attended the three-way meeting with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran.

‘I will only hint. Please look at the moment of Putin’s exit from the plane. Is it Putin at all?’, the intelligence chief commented on Ukraine’s 1+1 news channel. He was referring to the awkward body language adopted by the man walking down the steps of the presidential jet.

He further pointed out that compared to other recent public appearances, Putin looked far more alert, and was also moving a lot faster. Another suspicion was the way Putin’s face did not display its usual neutral expression while greeting people during his visit to the Iranian capital.

Putin appeared animated during the trip insisted Budanov, accusing him of using strange facial expressions and looking unusually uncomfortable in public.

It does seem strange though that none of these claims was actually made by Ukraine at the time the footage of Putin’s trip was first shown. 

Putin himself spoke about the use of lookalikes two years ago, admitting that it had been suggested to him by Kremlin officials. ‘I discarded the idea of any doubles’, the Russian President said at the time.

He had been advised to use a body double to make public appearances as a way of staying safe following the terrorist attacks in the early 2000s. ‘This was during the toughest time of our war against terrorism’, Putin said.

It has long been believed – although never proved – that previous Soviet leaders including Leonid Brezhnev and Josef Stalin both employed lookalikes.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at