It's no longer a secret that the Kremlin leader has substitutes who resemble Vladimir Putin and appear in public whenever there is a need to give a speech, cut a ribbon, scold subordinates, or shake hands with someone. In all cases, reference is made to Vladimir Putin, although the present person may be a double or "clone" and therefore the information could be incorrect.
At the same time, few people can tell the difference between the real Putin and his substitutes. In this case, it would be useful to take into account the observations made by Igor Girkin, a former officer at the Federal Security Service (FSB) who led the pro-Russian armed rebellion in the Donbass in 2014.
Igor Girkin (center) during the armed rebellion in the Donbass in 2014. Image: Los Angeles Times
In a video record on a Telegram channel, Girkin, in response to a question from his interlocutors, said that "The real Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was alone at Christmas night in the Kremlin church. Even the priests were afraid to show up there, probably because of a sniper who wouldn't let anyone approach less than 20 meters...
this is the real Putin."
Putin in person is also the one who receives ministers while sitting at one end of a table [10-12 meters long] and watches those sitting at the other end of the table through binoculars. "The guy who hands out medals, who hugs everyone, makes public statements, and appears in the crowd" is undoubtedly one of the president's fakes, according to Girkin.
Putin receiving UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Moscow. Image: Foreign Policy
Girkin's observations are corroborated by evidence of the paranoia that has taken hold of the Moscow leader. People who request an audience are rigorously checked by security services and are placed in quarantine for several weeks after their samples are taken before being admitted to Putin.
Earlier, journalists documented many cases when the Russian leader had appeared in public in different places at the same time, each immitation having different facial features, head shapes, and different behavior.
A supposed fake president speaking to a gathering in the Luzhniki center in February 2023. Image: TASS
Investigative journalists discovered last year that, importantly, Putin always travels with an army of doctors and guards, out of fear of infection and assassination. Sources from the president's inner circle say that Putin would never venture into activities that would jeopardize his health or life, even for the sake of image polishing.
Igor Girkin was recently officially convicted for his participation in the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines MH17/MAS17 civilian aircraft over Ukraine in July 2014 and is under Western sanctions.
Turn on English subtitles to listen to Girkin's voice for this video on Youtube.