A major Japanese TV network TBS recently reported on work carried out by Japanese AI experts that claimed its research using facial recognition, voice comparison, and body movement analysis provided evidence that at least two “body doubles” had stood in for Vladimir Putin in recent months.

The study compares images of the “real” Putin at the May 9 Victory Day parade in Red Square, with two other public appearances: his drive across the newly repaired Crimean bridge in December 2022 and his March visit to inspect the rebuilding of the occupied city of Mariupol.

The researchers say that the Crimean “Putin” bears only a 53 percent match with the original, while the Mariupol body double matched at only 40 percent and that the doubles share only an 18 percent resemblance to each other. They also claim there are differences in their speech, their walk and their use of body language.

Advertisement

In spite of these, to them, obvious differences Japanese foreign affairs expert Tsutsumi Shinsuke commented: “I don't think these stand-ins started to be stand-ins recently.

“Maybe they started when Putin came to power, and he's been using them ever since, guiding and coaching them.”

He further commented that while the doubles can be detected by artificial intelligence, “they are able to express Putin's views accurately and impressively.”

Russian Exiles in Georgia Inspired by Protests but Scared
Other Topics of Interest

Russian Exiles in Georgia Inspired by Protests but Scared

Now living in exile in Tbilisi, anti-Kremlin Russians have watched weeks of mass protests against the “foreign influence” law with a mix of admiration and worry.

He added: This could be the result of long-term training.”

Needless to say, Ukraine was quick to pick up on the report, with Anton Gerashchenko an advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine posting the information on his X (formerly Twitter) social media channel on Nov. 1.

Another later post by Geraschenko showed Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov issuing yet another denial of the rumors, while joking that Putin is using even more doubles: “Experts are now wondering if there are three of four, [so] who do we see every day now, is he the third or the fourth double? It's unclear, isn't it?”

Advertisement

Moscow’s mouthpiece ended by assuring viewers that such a thing was not occurring: “But there is only one Putin.”

Other more independent voices have cast doubt on the validity of the research pointing out the images were captured several months apart, taken with different cameras at varying angles and distances, with recordings of the individuals’ taken made using a variety of equipment.

Two characters who don’t need convincing of the veracity of the Japanese claims are the Telegram blogger, GeneralSVR and the Russian (so-called) political analyst Valery Solovey.

GeneralSVR has doubled down (or should that be quadrupled down) on his end of October claims that Putin has died, his body frozen and a double was standing in for him.

Over the last few days, he has posted further revelations that, having gone off script on a couple of occasions the doppelgänger has been given a stern talking too and is currently undergoing “refresher training.”

The US-based “Rule of Law Foundation” said that Solovey went even further than the blogger claiming that, while Russia’s President was on his last legs, Moscow had been represented by the double at the Oct 17 visit to China.

Advertisement

He claimed that Xi Jinping was fully aware that he was meeting a double, saying: “The fact is that the current president, Vladimir Putin, is spending the last days of his earthly life.

“Not months, not weeks, but the last few days (due to terminal illness). He is currently being successfully replaced by his double as he has been for the last few months. ...... He even went to Beijing.

“The Chinese know exactly who they are dealing with.”

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter