Putin lookalike told ‘grow moustache and not leave home’ as risks life to work
A Vladimir Putin lookalike who made a tidy second income impersonating the Kremlin chief has been told to "grow a moustache and not leave his home" for his own safety.
Slawomir Sobala, 53, from Poland, has noticed a shift in attitude towards him as his evil twin's campaign of terror in Ukraine has worsened.
His daily toils are intensified by the fact that in his hometown, Wroclaw, in the west of Poland, one in every ten residents is Ukrainian.
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"The war that Putin unleashed obviously affects my daily life. People often accost me in the street and tell me that I look like Putin. They also often tell me not to leave the house for safety reasons," he told the Daily Star.
"Others suggest that I grow a beard and a moustache so that I dont look like Putin. I try not to be in public places, and when I have to be there, I ignore it and try not to provoke the situation."
Slawomir, who runs a transport company as his main hustle, said he still works as an impersonator despite the real danger.
"Yes, I work, but I do not agree to participate in all events," he said.
"I do not participate in entertainment projects and private events. I believe that Putin's character is now poorly received and that is why I do not want to expose myself to dangerous situations.
"I have currently received several offers from professional feature film producers. Soon I will sign a contract with one of them."
Slawomir said that before Putin's invasion of Ukraine kicked off in late February he didn't fear for his safety, but now he does.
"Before the war I wasn't afraid for my safety on the street, but now when the war started, when Putin attacked Ukraine I'm a little afraid because in our town Wroclaw, there's a lot of people from Ukraine who work and live here," he said.
His wife previously noted some of the downsides of his likeness to the ruler, saying that people often hassle him for selfies.
She said: "For me sometimes it's funny when we do this job and we meet other lookalikes and have fun but sometimes it's uncomfortable because when we are with family and we walk on holiday, on the beach or in the restaurant, bar, people touch him and say: 'Hey, hey you look like Putin, can I get a picture with you?'"
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"It's sometimes very uncomfortable for me."
Slawomir has been working as a Putin impersonator for eight years and has done a variety of jobs, ranging from sitting in the crowd at the 2018 World Cup with a Kim Jong Un lookalike to shooting charity videos for African refugees.
Slawek, as he is nicknamed, has contacted the Russian Embassy in Poland to try and set up a meeting with Putin, "but they do not allow him in such situations" he said.
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