As Vladimir Putin’s health reportedly declines, body doubles have been put on alert to stand in for the Russian not-so-strongman when he undergoes surgery, according to a report.
Putin will be out of commission for up to 10 days and the body doubles will be used to make it seem like he’s still in control of the country, the anti-Putin Telegram channel “General SVR” reported.
The mysterious Telegram account also claimed that pre-recorded footage will be released of Putin attending meetings and signing laws to make it seem like he is still working.
The channel — which is purportedly run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service lieutenant general known by the pseudonym “Viktor Mikhailovich” — previously reported that Putin is set to undergo cancer surgery and temporarily hand over power to Nikolai Patrushev, a hardline former federal police chief, while he is incapacitated.
“The time [of the surgery] has already been determined,” General SVR reported.
“It will take place at night beginning between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., with the date still being determined, but all medical personnel will be on duty starting from tonight,” it said.
“The date varies for safety reasons, but it should be understood that doctors insist on having the surgery carried out sooner rather than later.
“All the doctors are Russians — they all have passed multi-level checks,” the outlet added.
Russian investigative outlet The Project has claimed that Putin has been seen by a cancer doctor 35 times in recent years.
The 69-year-old leader has become so paranoid about his health, the outlet claimed, he has even turned to unconventional, and barbaric, therapies.
Putin is said to bathe in the blood extracted from deer antlers, which are hacked off while they are growing and still full of fresh blood, the outlet said.
An oncologist, identified by the outlet as Evgeny Selivanov, has reportedly made dozens of secret visits to Putin’s Sochi getaway home over just four years.
Putin, whose sickly appearance and uncharacteristically fidgety behavior in public have raised questions about his health, also has been rumored to suffer from a host of other serious maladies, including Parkinson’s disease.
New questions were raised about Putin’s physical state last month when he was seen tightly gripping a desk during his meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
On Wednesday, Putin skipped his beloved annual ice hockey game in Sochi — appearing instead on a video sporting mysterious marks on his face.
The Kremlin has adamantly denied that Putin suffers from any medical problems.