Body doubles have been prepared to make public appearances as warmongering Vladimir Putin gets ready for imminent surgery, according to new claims.
The bloodthirsty Russian president could be out of action for between two and ten days while his troops continue to struggle in the faltering invasion of Ukraine.
The use of lookalikes would preserve appearances that Putin remains in full control of Russia, says Telegram Channel General SVR.
The anti-Putin channel’s claims on his medical problems are supposedly based on “intelligence” from an exiled Kremlin lieutenant-general insider known by the alias Viktor Mikhailovich.
The channel is also linked to political analyst Professor Valery Solovey – who has claimed detailed knowledge of Putin’s supposed health issues, purportedly including cancer, early Parkinson’s disease and a schizoaffective disorder, although there is no independent confirmation.
Social media/EAST2WEST NEWS)
Solovey – who boasts secret sources in the Kremlin – was caught in a sting released this week, after being filmed by an undercover camera meeting a senior British diplomat in a central Moscow restaurant.
Footage likely from the Russian secret services and released on pro-Putin Telegram channels showed him and separately other Moscow opposition pundits in conversation with the UK diplomat, probably some time ago.
British sources do not deny the meetings which evidently show the diplomat doing her job engaging with a range of interlocutors.
Putin this week flew to Sochi, where several sources say he is receiving treatment for cancer.
Want all the latest news and analysis from Ukraine? Sign up to our World News Bulletin here
wikiway.com / EAST2WEST NEWS)
“The time [of the surgery] has already been determined,” said the General SVR channel, the first to openly say 18 months ago that Putin had significant health problems.
“It will take place at night beginning between 1am and 2am, with the date still being determined, but all medical personnel will be on duty starting from tonight.
“The date varies for safety reasons, but it should be understood that doctors insist on having the surgery carried out sooner rather than later.
“All the doctors are Russians – they all have passed multi-level checks.”
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The channel repeated an earlier claim that a “depressed” Putin is entrusting the country to hardline Nikolai Patrushev, 70, secretary of the powerful security council, while he is incapacitated.
He is former KGB counterintelligence officer who once headed the FSB, seen as a key architect of the Ukrainian war strategy and the man who convinced Putin that Kyiv was awash with neoNazis.
He “will be looking after the country for the time of the president’s incapacity. This decision was agreed in advance, all the key figures in the president’s circle are aware of that”, said the channel.
The posting claimed that canned footage had been made of Putin meetings and signing of decrees in a “cover-up” to make it seem that he is working.
The Kremlin is known to have used such tactics in the past.
“The president’s movements, if necessary, will be imitated by one of the two lookalikes,” said the account, referring to Putin body doubles.
“The possibility of a lookalike walking in public has been prepared.
“Everything is basically ready.”
Kremlin.ru/ East2west News)
In an earlier post this week, the channel said: ”Putin has been in a depressed mood of late and preparations for his forthcoming surgery, due to take place in the foreseeable future, play a major role here.
“The surgery itself, according to doctors, is not complicated, but there are always risks, and how quickly the president will recover and be able to fully perform his functions is a big question.”
The latest claims on Putin’s “surgery” come as an ex-MP separately suggested that the death of a top official at Roza Khutor – Sochi’s elite mountain resort where the president’s medics are known to stay – is suspicious and may be linked to the president’s medical secrets.
Kremlin.ru/ EAST2WEST NEWS)
Andrey Krukovsky, 37, general-director of the Krasnaya Polyana area, including the fashionable Roza Khutor ski resort, fell down a cliff sustaining fatal injuries, and his death was reported on May 1.
Lawyer Mark Feigin, an ex-MP, suggested that an investigation by opposition media Proekt showing Putin was regularly surrounded by several dozen doctors including cancer specialist Yevgeny Selivanov might be behind his death, the latest in a series of suspicious fatalities since the start of the war.
“The Proekt [investigation] showed several dozen medics following [Putin], one an oncologist Yevgeny Selivanov, who stayed in a hotel in Roza Khutor.
“[Now] they announced that the head of Roza Khutor suddenly died, fell off a cliff and received deadly wounds.
“Sounds interesting given that Proekt’s investigation with information from Roza Khutor was shown from hotels where these doctors stayed, a month ago.”
social media / EAST2WEST NEWS)
wiki / EAST2WEST NEWS)
He told Apostrof TV in Ukraine : “I don’t claim anything, no connection, but it’s interesting how it happened, one after another.”
Last year one of Putin’s most loyal ministers Yevgeny Zinichev, 55, a former presidential bodyguard, died apparently trying to save a man and falling down a waterfall.
However, full details of his death have not been disclosed.
Putin spoke of his “irreplaceable personal loss” at losing Zinichev, a former FSB deputy director.
wiki / EAST2WEST NEWS)
wiki / EAST2WEST NEWS)
Meanwhile, leading Russian economic scientist Professor Sergei Guriev has claimed Western hopes of the mass resignations of Putin’s officials in protest against the war can only work if enough people do it at the same time.
People are scared for their lives if they quit, he said on Popular Politics online TV.
“It is clear that people who resign without Putin’s permission risk, and I’m not kidding, [they risk] their lives,” he said.
“If thousands of people resign, there won’t be enough FSB poisoning squads for everyone.”
Putin two years ago admitted that officials had considered using doubles, but he claimed the idea was rejected.
“I discarded the idea of any doubles,” he said.
He was advised in the early 2000s when Russia was hit by terrorist attacks that a lookalike should take his place at events where the head of state might be at risk, he said.
“This was during the toughest time of our war against terrorism,” he said.
Body doubles were reportedly used by former Kremlin leaders, for example longtime Soviet supremos Joseph Stalin and Leonid Brezhnev.