Vladimir Putin struggles to smile in a bizarre clip in which his cheeks appear swollen as discussion continues to circulate about his health.
The Russian tyrant, 71, sent the rumour mill rife again as internet users suggested he had used “butt filler” on his face. His cheeks appear particularly puffy in the footage, which emerged after Putin’s appearance this week at a function in Rostov-on-Don in his nation.
Attributing the world leader’s cheek changes to “butt implants”, a user of X, formerly known as Twitter, asked: “What the f*** is going on?” Another joked: “Did he get stung by bees in both of his cheeks?”
Russia this week was forced to issue yet another formal denial that Putin has been replaced by a body double. In a bizarre statement on Saturday, the Kremlin insisted: “We have only one Putin.” It follows a swirl of speculation that the dictator died ten days ago and has been replaced by one doppelgänger – or several.
And one cosmetic surgeon believes the sole Putin has indeed had work done to alter his facial features. Gerard Lambe, who has significant experience in the industry, told The Sun: “Mr Putin’s appearance has undergone a dramatic change over the years.
“The biggest changes I see are in his facial shape which is likely due to cheek fillers but this is often overdone in a bid to avoid a facelift – this is something I see in my clinic on a regular basis. He may have had fat injections to fill out hollows in the cheeks and temple regions also.”
Last month, The Kremlin issued an extraordinary denial Putin had died at his Valdai residence north of Moscow. A report of his death was published by the Telegram channel General SVR, which has long claimed the Russian dictator had suffered from cancer and was terminally ill.
These reports were quashed, though, and since then the former intelligence officer has largely distanced himself from Russia’s religious leaders.
His giant table meeting this week was a far cry from his recent close-up meetings with other officials.
Last month Japanese AI analysis was claimed to have proved Putin does use body doubles. The research relied on facial recognition, voice comparison, and body movements to indicate there are several different Vlads.