Slawek Sobola, a 53-year-old Polish man, has spent the past eight years touring the US, UK and Hong Kong professionally impersonating Putin as a side hustle, but he recently told the Daily Star he is concerned locals in the Polish city he lives in will become "angry or aggressive" if they see him because of the war.
“Before the war, I wasn’t afraid for my safety on the street, but now … I’m a little afraid because in Wroclaw, there’s a lot of people from Ukraine who work and live here,” he said.
“There have been many times that these people told me I look like Putin, and now because of the war, I’m a little afraid that these people could be angry or aggressive when they see me."
Sobola runs a transport company as his day job and is represented by the UK-based Lookalikes Agency when he impersenates Putin.
Sobola added he used to “respect” Putin, but his opinion has changed since the war in Ukraine began last week and so he will no longer impersonate him.
"I do not know today how I will play his role in the future," he said. "This situation with the war, I am standing with Ukraine. I think that they have to fight.”
Meanwhile, Sobola’s wife is also pleased he will no longer pretend to be the Russian leader.
"For me sometimes it’s funny when we do this job and we meet other lookalikes and have fun,” she stated. “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?'”
There are definitely better people to resemble.
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