Health rumours surrounding Vladimir Putin have resurfaced following a recent diplomatic ceremony in Moscow where the Russian leader chose to stand 70 feet away from Britain’s new ambassador, Nigel Casey.
When Putin came out to address the gathering, he stood far away from the 21 envoys, using a grand golden door adorned with Russian flags as the backdrop for his speech.
Speaking from across the vast hall, Putin addressed the diplomats without directly engaging them. The ambassadors, visibly unnerved, listened from the other side of the room and moved away awkwardly when it became clear Putin had no interest in coming to greet them personally.
In his speech, Putin said: “In the post-war period and until recently, our countries managed to build interaction based on the understanding of their special responsibility for maintaining global peace, stability and security as permanent members of the UN Security Council.
“But the current state of affairs in the dialogue with London is common knowledge, and let us hope that the situation will change for the better in the interests of our two countries and peoples.”
He told the audience: “Unfortunately, for sanitary reasons, we cannot talk more, socialise. hope that better times will come, not only in politics but also in health care, and we will be able to do so.
“In any case, as a matter of routine, both myself, the Foreign Minister [Sergey Lavrov], and my assistant for international affairs [Yuri Ushakov] are always at your disposal.”
Today, the General SVR Telegram channel claimed that the person who greeted ambassadors upon their arrival in Moscow was a doppelganger for Putin. This is one of several sources alleging that the Russian leader, driven by paranoia, employs multiple body doubles.
SVR said: “The backup accepted credentials from the newly arrived ambassadors of foreign states, the main reason for the double’s 20 metre distance from the ambassadors is the deplorable state of the [body double’s] face.
“Several small lumps have appeared on ‘Putin’s’ cheekbones, which is why his face has acquired a lumpy appearance, and this problem can hardly be hidden with makeup.
“As of yesterday, the double was more different than ever from the real Putin.”