Vladimir Putin: Has He Gone Under the Knife?
12/16/2011 AT 02:45 PM EST
Whatever the reason – and there are many a rumor about how this transformation took place – Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, 59, is looking a lot less stressed these days, as these before and after photos show.
Notice on the right, in the photo of Putin 2.0, that his forehead is perfectly smooth, his cheeks aglow and those deep lines that once characterized his handsome (to some) face are now gone with the Baltic wind.
Britain's Guardian speculates that Botox did the trick and also suggests that he has also undergone some nip/tucks.
As quoted by the Guardian from the liberal Russian magazine New Times, four plastic surgeons analyzed Putin's new look and concluded his had Botox in the forehead, his lower eyelids lifted and his cheek bones firmed up with fillers – all in the bid to make him look more appealing as he faces an upcoming election next March.
To that end, CBS News reports on Friday that a brand new poll shows that he is slipping in his approval rating, to 51 percent, down from 61 percent last month.
Not good. Then again, should Putin find anything else slipping, there's always a procedure for that.