Putin clarifies on rumour of using body double for making public appearances
Russia : Yes, it is correct that Vladimir Putin has been offered the use of body double for public appearances to ensure his safety, but it is also true that on every occasion he has refused the offer; so all the claims made in recent media reports that he uses body double comes to rest.
The Russian President clarified that he was offered the chance to use a body double in the early 2000s, when Russia was fighting a war against separatists in Chechnya.
But Mr Putin, who has been in power since 2000, said he "declined these body doubles" on every occasion he was offered them.
The question about body double was asked to him by journalist Andrei Vandenko who interviewed Mr Putin for Russia's Tass news agency.
During the interview, Vandenko asked him, "Are You Real?"
In reply, Mr Putin confirmed he was real before denying he used body doubles for security reasons.
He said the idea was mooted during the 1999-2009 war, "at the most difficult moment of fighting terrorism".
On the work front, Putin is due to step down from his post in 2024, when his fourth term of office comes to an end.