At a recent diplomatic ceremony in Moscow, Putin reportedly opted out of engaging in conversation with Ambassador Nigel Casey and the 21 British envoys and added insult to injury by declining to stand close to them.
Despite both countries expressing his intentions to improve frosty relations between the two countries, Ambassador Casey faced a diplomatic challenge even as Putin acknowledged the historic significance of the dialogue between leaders during World War II at the 80th anniversary of the Tehran Conference, Mirror reported.
Putin's decision to stay away from Ambassador Casey raised eyebrows, especially in light of the Russian president spotted in close proximity to others, such as when he witnessed a Soviet-era nuclear explosion at a new exhibit.
During the Moscow ceremony, the Mirror reported, Putin addressed the guests, including ambassadors from Germany and Australia, stating, "Unfortunately, for sanitary reasons, we cannot talk more, socialize. I hope that better times will come, not only in politics but also in health care, and we will be able to do so."
Russian telegram channel General SVR, which has speculated in the past about Putin’s health concerns, claimed that a Putin "doppelganger" or "body double" had greeted the British Ambassador and his envoy.
General SVR claimed the distance was needed because of the “deplorable state of the [body double’s] face.”
They added that “several small lumps have appeared on ‘Putin’s’ cheekbones, and the issue can't be covered up with makeup. Most recently, the purported double appeared more different than ever from Putin, Mirror reported.
Never miss a story — sign up for the Front Page Detectives newsletter. Be on the scene the moment news breaks.
The Sun reported Ambassador Casey, who previously worked at the UK Embassy in Moscow, appeared to ignore the dilemma and instead emphasized the importance of maintaining relations between the UK and Russia and expressed a commitment to improving ties despite the obstacles.
Ambassador Casey also noted the global significance of decisions made by Russia, particularly addressing the ongoing human suffering resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Become a Front Page Detective
Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.