In recent footage from Beijing Capital International Airport, where Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived for the Belt and Road forum, conspiracy theories about his use of a body double have resurfaced.
Putin, who was warmly welcomed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, shook hands with officials at the airport, but his mannerisms have led to questions about his authenticity.
A political adviser, Jason Jay Smart, posted a video on X (formerly Twitter) questioning whether the person arriving in China was the real Putin or a body double seeking Chinese assistance.
He wrote: “‘PUTIN’ has arrived to China.
“Do you think it is REALLY Vladimir Putin, or ‘Putin-the-body-double,’ arriving to beg for Chinese assistance??” Smart continued. “Looking at his movement & knowing Putin’s fear of COVID: I think this is the body-double Putin.”
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Ukrainian officials have previously claimed that Putin uses body doubles due to health concerns, sparking rumours about his health and potential successors.
The Kremlin has denied these allegations, and there is no concrete evidence to support these claims.
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Despite the lack of evidence, speculation on social media continues, with some users suggesting that the spry movements observed at the airport indicate a body double.
“Def the weird painted side-hair double,” X user Mickey McAllister commented.
Another user wrote: “Is that Putin? Or body double? Reports were that Putin was SO ill & successor was being selected.”
The debate surrounding Putin’s identity and health remains a topic of discussion among online communities.
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