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Russian leader, Putin was replaced by a body double when he flew to Iran to meet Turkey’s President Erdogan ~Intel

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A Vladimir Putin body ‘double’ may have been used for his arrival at a summit in Tehran this week, according to the head of Ukrainian military intelligence.

While the Russian leader looked awkward as he came down the steps of his presidential plane in Tehran, Ukrainian sources noted he moved unusually quickly and was more alert than in prior public appearances.

The Russian premier looked animated when greeting the waiting party, before removing his jacket and clambering into a heavily armoured limousine.

Intelligence supremo Major-General Kyrylo Budanov was suspicious in a live interview on Ukraine’s 1+1 news channel.

Ukrainian reports said Budanov suggested a Putin lookalike could have flown to Tehran to meet with the presidents of Iran and Turkey.

‘I will only hint,’ he said.

‘Please look at the moment of Putin’s exit from the plane. Is it Putin at all?’

The Russian leader’s visit to Tehran where he met Iran’s leadership, plus Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, attracted worldwide attention.

It is only the second time Putin has been abroad since launching his brutal invasion of Ukraine five months ago.

In one video, Erdoğan kept Putin waiting, with the Russian ruler appearing ill at ease as he shuffled his feet and made strange facial movements.

But earlier Ukraine did not suggest this was a Putin double.

At the time, official Anton Gerashchenko posted on Telegram: ‘Erdogan made Putin wait during the meeting in Tehran.

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‘The whole spectrum of emotions of the humiliated and insulted Führer is on his face.

‘The bunker is indeed the best place to stay with such a face.’

Ukrainian news agency UNIAN commented: ‘The dwarf doesn’t like to be disrespected.’

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 Josef Stalin and Leonid Brezhnev.

Meanwhile, a Russian expert on Putin has strongly disputed a CIA claim that the Kremlin leader is ‘too healthy’ and shows no evidence of multiple medical problems.

Political scientist Valery Solovey challenged a claim by CIA director William Burns this week that there was no intelligence to suggest Putin was seriously ill.

Solovey, who has long claimed the Russian leader is ailing, said: ‘The Americans, the CIA particularly, have information on the real state of health of the Russian president.

‘They definitely know that he has serious troubles, including mental ones.’

Solovey, a former professor at Moscow’s prestigious Institute of International Relations, suggested that the ‘too healthy’ comment was made because the US is behind the scenes negotiating with Russia.

Burns had said: ‘There are lots of rumours about President Putin and as far as we can tell he’s entirely too healthy.’

Solovey countered: ‘The Putin’s health topic is one of the [most] central in Russian policy discussions.’

He claimed the denials of medical issues ‘only reinforce suspicions that there is some problem’.

‘[When] Putin shows up, what do we see?

‘A man who limps, a man with dark spots, a man who has to interrupt meetings for ostensible “consultations”.

‘In reality, he needs medical assistance at that moment… People make conclusions based on what they see.

‘TV is a big liar, but it becomes more difficult to hide the real state of affairs.’

Solovey, like channel General SVR, has claimed previously that Putin is suffering from serious illnesses including cancer, Parkinson’s disease and a schizoaffective disorder.

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