Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted he was provided the prospect to use a physique double for security applications, but turned down the concept.
He said the plan was tabled in the early 2000s, when Russia was fighting a war towards separatists in Chechnya.
A 67-calendar year-outdated previous KGB agent, Mr Putin designed several journeys to the area for the duration of the conflict.
For a long time he has been the issue of conspiracy theories on line, including that he employs lookalikes for protection.
But Mr Putin, who has been in ability due to the fact 2000, explained he “declined these human body doubles” on each occasion he was presented them.
The problem was introduced up by Andrei Vandenko, a journalist who interviewed Mr Putin for Russia’s Tass news company.
Mr Vandenko said “Putin’s double” and “Putin body double evidence” have been among the the most preferred internet searches linked with the Russian president’s title.
The interviewer questioned Mr Putin: “Are you real?”
In reply, Mr Putin verified he was genuine before denying he made use of system doubles for stability good reasons.
He explained the thought was mooted all through the 1999-2009 war, “at the most tough instant of fighting terrorism”.
Mr Putin is due to move down as president in 2024, when his fourth phrase of business arrives to an end.
But there is speculation he could request a new purpose or maintain on to ability at the rear of the scenes.
He is currently the longest serving Russian leader because Joseph Stalin, who dominated the Soviet Union for more than two decades in the last century.
In January, Mr Putin proposed sweeping constitutional alterations in his yearly condition of the nation tackle to lawmakers.
The complete implications of people modifications are not yet obvious, but analysts believe that they will assure he retains electricity in some kind.