An increasingly paranoid Putin is allegedly isolating himself and cutting off the outside world while another “Putin” interacts freely with the public, according to research by the Kremlin-banned Russian media outlet Proekt.

According to the researchers, in 43 percent of the meetings, which is 224 out of the total number, it’s clear that Putin keeps a distance from his audiences and those he speaks with directly. Putin holds many events via video, explaining that he wants to protect himself from the coronavirus.

However, some Ukrainian intelligence officials see Putin’s self-isolation as more about his insecure hold on power.

Andriy Yusov, a Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) official, told the Kyiv Post that Putin has been plunged into such a paranoid closed capsule, and “this is, in particular, the work of Patrushev and the Russian special services, which have long since begun to explain to the Russian president that there are enemies around.”


“Paranoia reigns around the office of the Russian president!” – Ukrainian Intelligence

“In addition to such paranoia, we are talking about the available information about health problems and confirmed facts of using double technology,” said Yusov.

Ukrainian intelligence has also noticed unusual behavior when Putin’s alleged double is used.

“They use a similar person, but [the alleged double] is obviously someone not as valuable to the Russian special services,” Yuzov said.

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“For example, during a visit to the occupied territories, he seemed to be talking calmly with local residents but the [real Putin would not] get out of a car he had never used before,” implying the person interacting with the public was not Putin himself.

“Paranoia reigns around the office of the Russian president!”

For example, in June 2023, speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin had a fence built around the stage and corralled himself off from the crowd.

This low structure would not block the spread of the virus; rather, it served as a message to the hand-selected and repeatedly vetted guests who would then not even think of approaching the president.


According to journalists, the fence was prominently visible in September, when Putin traveled to the Far East for several days and attended a meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum, among other official events on the trip.

Before the forum, Putin visited the Zvezda shipbuilding complex during which he and officials in his entourage walked through the empty production facilities devoid of any workers.

The fence at the Eastern Economic Forum, September 2023. Photo: Proekt

“And with the onset of complete darkness, he went outside to speak to the workers, lined up in the daylight. But the fresh seaside air and the short distance did not seem to Putin to be sufficient protection – the workers were lined up more than 10 meters away from Putin,” the investigative report says.


At that time, the Kremlin decided not to put up a fence between the employees and the alleged Putin, which would have been very visible in the photo but only drew a red line that could not be crossed.

In the photo, Putin speaks at the naming ceremony of the Arctic gas tanker Alexey Kosygin and the shuttle tanker Valentin Pikul. Photo: Proekt.

Putin’s eccentricities did not end there, and at the economic forum he decided to talk to the moderators of the main sessions.

However, discussions in the same room are unacceptable to Putin.

He sat down in a small room with only Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev, who had accompanied him throughout the trip, and a small TV with a camera, which was needed to video-link the moderators from the next room.

Vladimir Putin talks to the moderators of the main sessions, Sep 12, 2023

Putin also likes empty temples and churches, which surprised even his colleague, self-proclaimed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who asked “But [don’t] ordinary people come here too?” during a meeting on July 23 in St. Petersburg.

“There was reason to be surprised – not a single random person was allowed into the church. At the last minute, a young couple who were scheduled to get married at the same time were not even allowed to enter the church,” the journalist investigation claims.


Putin with Lukashenko in the empty church of the St. Nicholas Sea Cathedral in Kronstadt, July 23, 2023. Photo: Proekt.

In a conversation with the Kyiv Post, Ukrainian intelligence said that Putin is their “hunting target in terms of bringing him to justice and participating [to] an international tribunal.”

“It’s the task that must be accomplished!” Ukrainian intelligence official Andriy Yusov said.

However, the intelligence service has not disclosed any other details about the hunt for and possible liquidation of the Russian President.

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