Vladimir Putin lookalike: the innocent man scared for his life
Slawek Sobala, who's the Russian president's double, claims that his life is in danger after the invasion of Ukraine and asked for a meeting at the Kremlin.
Slawek Sobala is considered the official lookalike of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been getting recognised for almost a decade. "Hey, hey, you look like Putin, can I take a picture with you?" is what he is often asked when he walks down the streets.
And while normally he finds it, "funny," at times it can be "a little awkward because people stop me a lot when I am with my family." This according to his wife. Recent developments have added to this latter feeling.
More on Russia-Ukraine conflict:
The life of a Putin lookalike
The 53-year-old Polish-born man runs a transport company as a day job and at the same time has earned quite a bit of money by sharing a resemblance to the man responsible for the Ukraine invasion. He is represented by the image agency Lookalikes, who have sent him all over the world for photo and video shoots at events and publicity events. The Kremlin president himself claimed that he may have a double to stand in for him at events or activities that pose a risk to his safety, but Sobala rejects that it is him.
The military conflict initiated by pro-Russian troops has Sobala on alert for possible reprisals from his neighbours, simply because of the way he looks.
"Before the war, I didn't fear for my safety on the street, but now I am very afraid because in our city, Wroclaw, there are many people from Ukraine who work and live here and my fear is that when they see me they will attack me," Sobala says.
"I would like to help with Putin's image"
Following the military invasion on Ukrainian soil, Sobala says that his "perception of Putin has changed" because of the damage he is doing with his attacks. He says he would "like to help with his image of Putin, to show that he also has a second face". He also says that he has asked for a meeting with the Russian leader himself to discuss the situation, but his request was denied.
Likewise, he says that if he had him in front of him, he would tell him "how you someone have the same face, but perceive the world so differently". And due to the situation, Sobala's daily habits have changed with him now writing down and marking everything he eats throughout the day, even with his own ingredients, to avoid poisoning.