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News Commentary – October 6, 2011

 It is now pretty well standard practise for some political leaders to have look-a-like doubles stand in for them.

It is also a matter of historical record that many leaders have had doubles impersonate them.

 Otherwise known as political decoys, they help confuse enemy intelligence and take risks on behalf of those they imitate. We now know that Winston Churchill had a look-a-like stand in for him at times during World War II as did a string of other leaders.

In more recent times Saddam Hussein is known to have had a number of look-a-likes in his service.

There is indeed good reason to doubt whether the man who stood trial in Baghdad was actually Saddam Hussein. For a close look at photos of the man in the dock reveals distinct differences between him and Saddam Hussein before the Coalition deposed him.

The same ruse may be at work in Russia too. For Vladimir Putin appeared at a party conference in Moscow last week looking notably more youthful than he has done in years. Indeed the 58-year-old looks younger now than he did 10 years ago, prompting speculation over whether has had a facelift. 

We leave you to decide whether Putin’s sudden transformation is the result of cosmetic surgery, Botox or whether a more youthful double is standing in for the man who is now a favourite to be Russia’s next president.

Putin at United Russia Congress on Saturday (left), in April this year (center) and in 2000 (right)