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The mysterious woman in the photo is next to Russian President Putin

At the end of December, London-based Belarusian journalist Tadeusz Gekzan noticed one woman posing in three different photos with the president, he wrote. Newsweek.

The first time the blonde woman appeared in a photo was taken in September 2016 when Putin was said to be chatting with a group of fishermen in the Novgorod region. The following year, she was seen next to the president at the convent ceremony in the same area, and on New Year’s Eve 2022, she stood obliquely behind him while he spoke at the ceremony of handing out medals to Russian soldiers.

Soldier, sailor, faithful Christian. “God’s ways are unfathomable,” Tadeusz Gekzan wrote on Twitter. swirling-putin-accused-of-using-the-same-woman-multiple-images-1770576

Job gave birth to a series of ridicule and speculation on social media.

CNN reporter Clarissa Ward asked if the full-voiced woman was an actress used to “fill in” the shots or if there was some other reason why she was so close to the president. At the same time, she noted, the other people in the two photos looked the same.

“As expected: Putin’s New Year’s speech did not even use real soldiers, but actors,” wrote Kyiv Post correspondent Jason Jay Smart. Twitter.

Now she has a Brit public service BBC She examined several photos with the help of facial recognition software and found that the woman in the fishing boat and in the convent was most likely the same person. Match 99.1 percent.

Normally you should have a similarity value of 75 percent or more when looking at an identity match, Professor Hassan Aqil, director of the Center for Visual Computing at the University of Bradford, tells the BBC.

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Putin is said to attend a ceremony at a monastery in the Novgorod region on January 6, 2017. On the left, the blonde woman identified as an extra.  The Kremlin took the picture.

Photo: Mikhail Klimentjev/AP

In Russian media, the woman was reported to be Larisa Sergokina, who is a member of the regional parliament in Novgorod where she represents Putin’s ‘United Russia’ party. She is also listed as the founder of a fish trading company. Her official photo at the party is 99.8 percent identical to the woman in the photo from the fishing boat.

In turn, the woman appears In Putin’s New Year’s address a different person. The match rate is just 29 percent with the woman on the fishing boat and 28 percent with the woman in the convent. According to Russian media, the captain and military doctor Anna Sergeyevna Sidorenko, whose name was included in the list of people in a Russian military regiment published by the Ukrainian intelligence services. When the BBC compared the image from the New Year’s speech with a video interview of Anna Sergeyevna Sidorenko by Russia’s newspaper Isvestia, the match was 99.5 percent.

The BBC also compared the men on the fishing boat with those in the abbey – four of them matching more than 99 per cent. They all seem to work in the Novgorod region, and at least three of them are fishermen, according to information available on social media, among other things.

Putin speaks with what is said to be a fisherman on a boat on Lipno Island in Lake Ilmen in the Novgorod region on September 10, 2016. Left, the blonde woman accused of being an extra.

Photo: Alexej Druzhinin/AP

Martin Cragg, Deputy Director According to the Foreign Policy Institute’s Center for Eastern European Studies, he was not surprised by the BBC poll results. His point is that several people appear in different guises.

– Not at all. Similar observations were already made several years ago. It’s not terribly surprising, but it’s what you can expect, says DN.

According to Martin Cragg, these are likely people from Putin’s security forces who are there to protect him, or civilians who were carefully screened before being released near the president. Regardless, they act as a kind of add-on.

– so that the boss doesn’t look completely aloof at every photo opportunity.

Security around the president is very high and became even tighter during the pandemic, when very few people were allowed to see him after a two-week quarantine.

– He travels with a full entourage, drinks from his cup and eats only his food.

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