Vladimir Putin has been accused of staging a visit to a military hospital.
Online users claimed they recognised one of the ‘patients’ from a previous event.
Putin met the man when he spoke to wounded soldiers at a military hospital in Moscow.
After the trip, the Russian despot described the troops as ‘heroes’ in a televised meeting with officials.
However, Adam Rang, a ‘counter propaganda’ expert based in Estonia, tweeted: “Putin met with a wounded soldier who, by a strange coincidence, was also a factory worker he previously met.”
Mr Rang shared a picture which appeared to show the ‘soldier’ at another event.
In a later tweet, Mr Rang said: “Some people have their doubts. It’s not conclusive but it does seem to be the same person – and there’s certainly nothing new about that tactic from Putin.
“There was even a rioter in 2007 in Estonia who popped up as a protestor in Ukraine’s Donbas in 2014.
“Putin’s use of ‘extras’ for media stunts has been widely documented by Russians for more than a decade. This one really isn’t very clear. So let’s take a look at some better examples.”
Mr Rang shared a BBC article which showed that the ‘ordinary Russians’ Putin supposedly met at a previous event turned out to be officials or had connections to the regime.
He also posted other stories about how the despot staged meetings with supposed members of the public and ‘factory workers’.
The counter propaganda expert said ‘prepared audiences’ had become prolific since Putin was booed when he appeared at a martial arts fight in Moscow.
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A body language expert said Putin appeared to have a ‘zip in his step’ and looked more confident when he met wounded troops in his latest public appearance.
Dr Lillian Glass told The Mirror there has been a “psychological shift” in the 69-year-old’s behaviour compared to previous appearances.
She said: “He looks a lot more confident than he did before, he has a zip in his step. He doesn’t look as stiff as he did and his walk is a little more robust than it’s been when he walked into the room.
“He reaches out his hand – it’s like he’s trotting. He’s got more of a zip in his walk and he’s walking faster. His posture is pretty erect too.”
Dr Glass drew attention to the moment that Putin meets the soldiers, saying he doesn’t smile as he greets them but beams more and more as the meeting goes on.
She said: “That’s pretty incongruous. He does give a little smile, a slight smile.
“Now he’s got a big smile. The soldiers seem very happy.”
Earlier this week, illness rumours raged when Putin was seen tapping his foot and holding onto his chair while meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
But Dr Glass believes the most recent clip shows a “change since we’ve last seen him”.
She added: “His face is wider, but he is getting older too. That’s what usually happens.
“He reaches out, looking really happy – he touches the guys.
“The only thing you can really go by is the body language. In this moment he certainly looks robust and confident, and there’s a zip in his step.”