Stalin's body double, 1940s

For decades, rumors circulated in Russia that Joseph Stalin had a "twin" who took his place during certain situations. Decades after Stalin's death, Noah finally decided to speak up.

Felix Dadaev, a former dancer and juggler, was ordered to work in the Kremlin as Stalin's body double. For more than half a century, Dadaev remained silent, fearing the death penalty he dared to open his mouth.

But in 2008, at the age of 88, and with clear acceptance of the Putin regime, he finally came forward to write his autobiography. It states that he was one of the four men employed to impersonate the Supreme Leader, taking his place in motorcycles, at rallies, on newsreel footage, etc.

Dadaev was born in the Caucasian Highlands of Dagestan and began taking ballet lessons when his family moved to Grozny in Chechnya.

When World War II broke out, he was required to fight and was so badly wounded during the Soviet liberation of Grozny in 1942 that his family was told he had been killed. He was one of seven casualties who were rushed to the hospital, but he and another person were still alive.

Fortunately, he survived, although that "death" was the beginning of a strange double life. Soon, 60-year-old Stalin (who resembled him at school) was noticed by Soviet intelligence agents, who began using him to shield the real Stalin from assassination plots and tedious public gatherings.

In his 20s, Dadaev was much younger than Stalin, but the make-up and the stress of war meant he could pass for a 60-year-old.

"We had all experienced so much pain that I looked so much older than my age," said Dadav. Trained at Stalin's personal request, Dadaev attended rallies and meetings in the Soviet Union, wearing a heavy overcoat emblazoned with the leader's trademark Red Army cap and medals.

He watched Stalin's films and speeches to perfect his imitation of movement and tone. Some say that like other Stalin's body doubles, Dadaev was coached by Alexey Dickey, the actor who played Stalin in propaganda films.

In an era, before the dominance of the media, they did not have to completely imitate Stalin's vocal adaptations, just his looks and mannerisms. He pulled it off so well that even the closest associates of Stalin could not recognize the deceiver. "By the time my makeup and training were done, I was like him in every way except maybe my ears. They were too young".

Another Stalin's body double was a man identified only as "Rashid". Rashid was so similar to the dictator that when he joined the army, he was dismissed almost immediately.

Even the marks on his face almost matched the marks of the Soviet leader of the battle with smallpox. He spent two years studying with Alexei Diki. Rashid claimed that others employed by the NKVD (KGB's predecessor) were Stalin lookalike, though he never met anyone.

He claimed to have heard of another Stalin double who had been hired to live at the dictator's dacha outside Moscow in the late 1940s and 1950s, when Stalin was dying. After Stalin's death in 1953, Rashid moved to a provincial town and shaved his mustache and gradually went bald. Yet even then the resemblance proved so striking that he often stared at the street.

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