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DarthPutinKGB Lives!

I'm still watching you! (cartoon by Yevheni Oliynik for RFE/RL)

Rumors of DarthPutinKGB's death are greatly exaggerated.

DarthPutinKGB is not dead.

DarthPutinKGB has neither had a terrible "accident" nor has be been sent to the Twitter Gulag.

DarthPutinKGB is, in fact, alive and well and will rear his head again very, very soon.

Trust me.

How do I know? Well, I've been in contact with him. And the funny thing is he insisted on answering my questions in 140-character sentences.

The DarthPutinKGB Twitter feed, which has more than 85,000 followers, has been dormant since New Year's Day, when the popular Vladimir Putin impersonator tweeted: "Americans will celebrate New Year's Eve 2017 on Moscow Time."

DarthPutin's absence has even sparked fears about his safety. ​

But not to worry, he's safe and sound -- and lurking in an undisclosed location.

And, oh, by the way, he says his security services have taken note of everybody's reaction to his absence.

"Those followers who worried about me have my thanks. I have noted the names of every person who did not express concern," he said.

Some have suggested that Twitter may have suspended the account like it temporarily did in May, and in the process sparked a wave of Twitter outrage.

But rest assured, this time DarthPutin's three-week absence is entirely voluntary.

And nearly three weeks of silence from the usually prolific tweeter has even grabbed headlines in the Russian media, which claimed the feed is a parody backed by the U.S. government -- and now the funding has dried up.

"They are parodies of media. That's why no one can tell them apart from us," DarthPutin said.

So where's he been? And what's he been doing?

Well, he says he "just decided to take a break" after the holidays.

"I also needed to find a guy called Christopher Steele and serve him sushi. Still working on that," he said, referring to the retired MI6 agent who reportedly produced a dossier claiming that the Russian government had gathered compromising materials on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

But he'll be back very soon. Really. He told me so.

And after all, if you can't trust the man who said you should never believe something until the Kremlin denies it, well, then whom can you believe?

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The Power Vertical
The Power Vertical

The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or


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