Putin impersonator beat the president to Geneva


A lookalike of Russian President Vladimir Putin was spotted in Geneva, Switzerland, at a rally advocating for the release of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny a day before he was scheduled to meet with US President Joe Biden for a historic summit.

Protester Alexander Lyubuschin sat on a bench in a sunny Geneva plaza, bare-chested and wearing army pants to replicate summer holiday photographs of the genuine Russian president. He wore a Putin face mask and pretended to drink Vodka.

When asked if he expected a positive outcome from the summit, which is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at a neighboring lakeside villa, the mimic said: "But, of course, this is true. If you do not comply, I shall shut off all gas and oil."

A fake pistol and a mock-up vial of the nerve toxin Novichok, which German physicians alleged was used to poison Navalny last year in Siberia, were on the bench next to him.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the poisoning.

A small group of protestors nearby chanted for Navalny's release from a Russian prison where he is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence.

They chanted "Russia without Putin" next to a billboard of Navalny signing a heart, which was a replica of a mural that had recently surfaced on a street in central Geneva.

A senior US official said Biden's administration would discuss human rights at the summit, which also concerns nuclear arms and ransomware, but did not say whether this would include Navalny's issue.

Publish : 2021-06-18 08:24:00

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