It has emerged that the Russian President has taken his image-obsession further by wearing heeled shoes to appear taller. Putin visited students in Moscow on Wednesday where he ensured that he looked taller than he is in reality, with shoes fitted with built in heels or lifts.
The President is estimated to be 5ft 7in (170cm) and may feel self-conscious as on average men in Russia are 5ft 10in (178cm).
Putin was visiting Vorobyovy Gory for Russian Students Day as part of a publicity stunt.
Last year the Russian was mocked by G7 leaders over a picture of him riding a horse shirtless.
“Jackets on – jackets off…”, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked other leaders at a summit in Germany.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “Let’s wait for the picture” to which Mr Johnson replied: “We all have to show we’re tougher than Putin…We got to show them our pecs.”
Putin’s height was further mocked by political figures at the beginning of his invasion of Ukraine when Tory MP Julian Lewis said in the House of Commons that the Russian president was “firmly in the grip of small man syndrome”.
Meanwhile, US Republican Senator Mitt Romney called him “small, evil, [and] feral-eyed”.
Critics have claimed that the President has Napoleon complex, which is characterised by overly aggressive or domineering social behaviour from those who are shorter than average or self-conscious about their height.
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Professor van Vugt from VU University Amsterdam analysed the President’s actions and told The Sun Online: “He wants to come across as a strong leader.
“The way he poses for the camera, all these pictures of him bare chested, playing ice-hocking, hunting.
“They are all the kind of things you see in someone who is not secure in their power position and that may be the result of this short stature – the more dominant, authoritarian kind of strategies to be taken seriously.”