In a recent interview with Radio Svoboda, Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine's intelligence service, has fueled speculations about Russian President Vladimir Putin's prolonged absence from public eye.
"Either he is not alive, or he is in a really bad health condition," Budanov stated in the interview according to Dagens.dk, adding to the growing international concern over who is actually in charge in Russia.
This isn't the first time Ukraine has questioned Putin's existence. Last autumn, Budanov claimed in an interview with Daily Mail that it's "common practice" for body doubles to replace the Russian leader. "We have identified three individuals who usually appear," he said.
Adding to the mystery, Budanov pointed out a recently published video where Putin looked at his watch on his left wrist and appeared confused when it wasn't there. Historically, Putin has always worn his watch on his right wrist. "Is this the real Putin?" the interviewer asked, to which Budanov responded, "I don't know what to answer you."
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky also expressed his doubts.
"Today, I find it difficult to understand who I should actually turn to and talk to. I am not sure if it's Russia's president who occasionally appears on a screen. I am not sure if he is alive or who is making decisions in Russia," Zelensky told Ukrainian Pravda.
The absence of Putin and the subsequent speculations have not only created an atmosphere of uncertainty in Ukraine but have also raised questions internationally about the Russian leadership.
According to this video Putin has several body doubles. Can you see which one is the real?