PUTIN refused to stand within 70ft of Britain’s new ambassador to Moscow for “sanitary reasons” at a diplomatic ceremony – sparking fresh rumours of ill health.
The Russian tyrant, 71, insisted on keeping a huge distance between himself and other diplomats at the Kremlin event – including the UK’s Nigel Casey.
During a speech at the ceremony to accept the new ambassadors, Putin appeared to offer an olive branch to Britain as he called for a “change for the better” in relations between Moscow and London.
Despite his bizarrely warm tone, he refused to talk to Casey or any of the new 21 envoys.
In a similar scene to the middle of the Covid pandemic, the Russian president was pictured standing metres away from other officials.
Arriving through an enormous golden door adorned by Russian flags, he delivered his speech from across the grand hall, simply talking at them.
The envoys listened from the other side of the room and shuffled away as Putin made it clear he had no intention of greeting them personally.
He blamed “sanitary reasons” for the distance – despite being seen mingling with a number of people in recent days and cuddling kids just hours earlier.
Putin told the envoys: “Unfortunately, for sanitary reasons, we cannot talk more, socialise.
“I hope that better times will come, not only in politics but also in healthcare, and we will be able to do so.
“In any case, as a matter of routine, both myself, the foreign minister, and my assistant for international affairs are always at your disposal.”
Telegram channel General SVR claimed a Putin body double greeted the ambassadors, which explained the 70ft distance to avoid any suspicion.
Claims of Putin using stand-ins or body doubles are not new and have been previously denied by the Kremlin.
Evensaid it is a “fact” that he uses body doubles.
“The backup accepted credentials from the newly arrived ambassadors of foreign states,” it stated.
“The main reason for the double’s 20-metre distance from the ambassadors is the deplorable state of the [body double’s] face.
“Several small lumps have appeared on ‘Putin’s’ cheekbones, which is why his face has acquired a lumpy appearance, and this problem can hardly be hidden with makeup.
“As of yesterday, the double was more different than ever from the real Putin.”
For years, the health of Putin has been the subject of speculation as questions have been raised over his changing facial features and emerging signs of a possible serious illness.
Last month, a Japanese study using high-tech AI analysis claimed to have finally “proved” that Putin uses body doubles.
The breakthrough research relied on facial recognition, voice comparison and body movements to indicate there are several different Vlads.
These fakes are rumoured to have undergone plastic surgery and training by his ex-KGB secret service to impersonate the iron-fist ruler.
The Sun has previously analysed a series of tell-tale clues that internet sleuths believe prove Putin is dead and body doubles are being used in his stead.
These included the crucial watch error where he forget which wrist his watch was on, despite always infamously wearing the £12,500 Russian-made Raketa on his right arm.
And Ukraine has repeatedly pointed at the tyrant’s changing ears as proof of his doppleganger deception.
At the end of October, his spokesman had to issue an extraordinary denial after an eminent professor and Kremlin “insiders” claimed Putin had died of a heart attack.
In his speech at the Kremlin on Monday, Putin alluded to the recent 80th anniversary of the Tehran Conference, where the heads of the Soviet Union, the US and Britain – Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill – met on equal footing.
Putin said the meeting “laid the foundations of the modern system of international relations” before mentioning the collapse in relations between Moscow and London.
“In the post-war period and until recently, our countries managed to build interaction based on the understanding of their special responsibility for maintaining global peace, stability and security as permanent members of the UN Security Council,” he said.
“But the current state of affairs in the dialogue with London is common knowledge, and let us hope that the situation will change for the better in the interests of our two countries and peoples.”
On arrival in Moscow, Britain’s Casey bluntly told the Kremlin that “ending the human suffering” caused by Putin in Ukraine was Britain’s priority.
Standing at his official residence with his back to the Kremlin, and speaking in Russian, he said: “Maintaining relations with the Russian government and the Russian people remains important to the UK, perhaps today more important than ever.
“Decisions taken bymatter not only for the UK, but the whole world.
“Few of the issues, currently facing us, are more important than ending the human suffering caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines