Russian President Vladimir Putin
Trump Claims His Personality 'Kept Us Out Of War,' Says Putin Won't Stop Photo by Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Professional Russian President Vladimir Putin impersonator, Slawek Sobala helped Umid Isabaev, a Volodymyr Zelensky lookalike, escape Kyiv with the assistance of Howard X, an impersonator of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

Sobala, with the help of Howard X, took Isabaev from Kyiv into Poland. The Zelensky lookalike reportedly worked and lived in Ukraine before Russia invaded the country. Isabaev is from Uzbekistan; he was on the metro in Russia in 2019 when someone took a picture of him, the photo immediately went viral as he resembles Ukrainian president Zelensky.

Howard X, known as Kim's impersonator, reached out to Sobala because he knew Isabaev was trapped in Kyiv. Through contacts in the Ukrainian capital, Sobala managed to enlist a member of the Ukrainian resistance to carry out Isabaev's extraction.

Isabaev fled to a safe house more than 100 kilometers from his Kyiv apartment on March 8. He stayed there for a couple of days before continuing his journey by car to the Shehyni border checkpoint in Lviv Oblast. He then crossed over to Poland at around 7:45 am on March 12 alongside other refugees.

Howard X told the Daily Star, "When the war started, I thought of Umid because I know he's living in Ukraine. I got in touch with him and told him 'you need to get out of here' because who knows what will happen if Russia gets hold of a Zelenskyy double."

In 2019, Isabaev was first employed by a Russian film producer for two years. However, upon completing the contract, he was flown out by Zelensky's production company to Kyiv, where he was given an apartment to live and a job in the city. Isabaev has met president Zelensky in person on several occasions.

"Kyiv was without sunshine, it was snowing," he told the media outlet, as the war began, it became unsafe for him to stay in the country due to various fatalities and deaths. "And every 5...10 minutes a bomb was heard, Kyiv was very noisy."

People "were reluctant to help [Umid] at the beginning." According to Howard X, "They wanted to get women and children out of the country first, not an immigrant from Uzbekistan," he said. "When he arrived at the border, he was detained by the staff because of his nationality. He eventually got through and from what I heard, the border staff laughed when they realised how much he looked like Zelenskyy."

Howard X was also known for helping a Bruce Lee impersonator get out of Afghanistan last year. He is also currently helping to pay for Isabaev's accommodation and food. Meanwhile, Sobala confirmed to "managed to bring [Umid] first to the Polish border and then to Wroclaw with the involvement of my friends in Ukraine." Sobala received Isabaev, and both were photographed together after the successful extraction.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a joint press conference with his counterparts from Lithuania and Poland following their talks in Kyiv on February 23, 2022. Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

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