27 September 2011

Vladimir PutinNew pictures of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin appearing at a political conference have sparked rumours that the 58-year-old has undergone cosmetic surgery. The former president looked fresh-faced and wrinkle-free during a speech at the United Russia congress which took place over the weekend.Mr Putin hopes to be voted in as president once again when elections are held in March next year, and commentators have suggested he has opted to freshen up his appearance in preparation. After comparing images taken in recent days with older photos, some say he has undergone a number of procedures including Botox and a facelift. After receiving the backing of the current president, Dmitry Medvedev, it looks increasingly likely that Putin will find himself back in the country's top job next year, meaning he'd remain in power until the age of 71. According to one aide however, the prime minister has not had any cosmetic surgery. Speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper, a spokesman for Mr Putin said: "As far as I know he hasnt been going through any surgical interventions."