Russian President Vladimir Putin has been roundly mocked online after a video released by the Kremlin on Wednesday showed him with what looked like unnaturally bloated cheeks

Netizens, as habitual internet users are sometimes known, have brought their full focus on drawing attention to this latest on-line appearance, sparking a deluge of speculation on the possible cause.

Ukrainian politician Anton Gerashchenko shared the video on his X (formerly Twitter) page, pointing out Putin’s peculiar look.

Another X user known as Tommy called it a “moon face” in reference to the emoji and suggested it was a side-effect of steroid treatment.

 

The X page for a user calling himself IMack used the one-word comment: “Chipmunk.”

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One user said Putin’s face looked like his own buttocks resulting from the overuse of botox: “too much botox! looks like my ass but in a smaller version.”

Some have questioned whether it was actually Putin at all, calling him a “body double with cheek implants.”

Others have also jumped into the body double theory, with one user saying “I think it is his double. When was the last time you saw vlad fiddle with a pen? Never is my guess.”

There has been unsubstantiated recent speculation that Putin actually died from a heart attack at the end of October, and that his recent appearances were being carried out by body doubles.

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Putin has always emphasized his “strongman” look, with publicity shoots being used to demonstrate his masculinity in order to appeal to his voter base.

Photos of Putin in recent years have shown a noticeable change in his appearance compared with his younger self, particularly in relation to his facial features.

This has only added fuel to speculation that he was displaying the effects of treatment for severe illness, or it was due to over-the-top cosmetic surgery or it wasn’t actually him that was turning up, but a look-alike.

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