In what has become a bit of a bizarre tradition now, Ukrainian officials have suggested Vladimir Putin used a body double to stage the recent highly-publicized trip outside of Moscow to visit Russian-occupied Ukraine.

Speaking on a nationally broadcast tele-marathon of combined news channels, National Security and Defense secretary Oleksiy Danilov called the person whom Russian state media said was the Russian president, as “an ordinary doppelganger” who was shown visiting the occupied Donetsk regional city of Mariupol in March and the partially seized region of Kherson this month.

Danilov didn’t provide evidence to support his claim and Putin’s presidential administration categorically doesn’t comment on whether doubles are used to stand in for the Kremlin leader.

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"There was no Putin there. This is a well-known thing. In order to communicate with the real Putin, you have to spend at least 10-14 days in quarantine,” Danilov said on local television.

When Putin visited Mariupol last month, Kyiv Post asked a representative of Ukrainian military intelligence, Andriy Yusov, for his opinion.

He simply said: "A man that looks like Putin visited Mariupol."

Other media outlets, such as state-run France24 says that images or unsubstantiated statements “don’t prove anything.”

Often times, various comparison pictures are taken from different time periodsand capture the Russian president's different facial expressions, which explains the visible differences,” the French state media said.

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