Putin’s mistress? The most enigmatic woman in Russia: Alina Kabaeva

Alina Kabaeva is considered shrouded in mystery. Possible sanctions against the Russian bring her back into the headlines. Who is the Olympic champion and alleged affair of Vladimir Putin? A search for clues.

“Look at Putin’s roster,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in 2013. “You will see that there is no place for family matters.” Then as now, rumors persisted that Vladimir Putin was having an affair with Alina Kabaeva, who was 31 years his junior. His divorce from Lyudmila, with whom Putin had been married for over 30 years and has two daughters, had not yet been officially finalized at the time. That only happened in April 2014.

But the President of Russia has been single for nine years now. At least officially. Because the reports about Alina Kabaeva did not stop over the years. But on the contrary. Allegedly, Putin also has children with her. There are at least three in number, according to various media reports. But that cannot be proven. There was even no confirmation of a relationship between the Kremlin despot and the two-time Olympic champion. Both sides deny ever being intimate with each other.

Was Alina Kabaeva at the plastic surgeon?

But Kabaeva is increasingly making the headlines again. Pictures of her rehearsing for her charity event “Alina Festival” in Moscow made the rounds this past weekend. It had previously been reported that the Russian was staying with her children in a secret hiding place in Switzerland. Confederates demanded in petitions that the 38-year-old should be expelled from the country. So now suddenly her participation in the event in the Russian VTB Arena – her first public appearance since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

Above all, her changed appearance caused speculation. She probably has the same plastic surgeon as Vladimir Putin, the Russian “Cosmopolitan” scoffed, alluding to the bloated faces of the two.

But it is not the only circumstance that has brought Alina Kabaeva to the attention of the world public. On Monday, a report in the “Wall Street Journal” made it known how heatedly sanctions against women are apparently being discussed behind the scenes of the world’s most powerful state organs. Actually, the name Kabaeva should also end up on the US sanctions list, but nothing will come of it for the time being, according to the research. Accordingly, US security experts fear that sanctions against Putin’s alleged lover could anger the Kremlin boss. There is a possibility that “Putin will react aggressively” to the sanctions, the paper quotes a US Treasury Department official as saying – read more about this here.

The surprisingly luxurious life of the ex-Olympian

The rumors about Putin and Kabaeva are no longer baseless fantasies of the gossip press. They should be taken so seriously that US ministries are also discussing them. In addition to the alleged liaison with the head of the Kremlin, it is above all the vague money flows in Putin’s closest circle that are currently being scrutinized internationally. Kabaeva is counted among Putin’s circle of power. Accordingly, she is said to have used her contacts with the 69-year-old to enrich herself and her family.

Kabaeva’s mother, grandmother and sister: They have all come into possession of luxurious properties in recent years. Billionaire Grigory Baevsky signed a 228-square-meter apartment in Moscow in the name of Kabaeva’s sister. This is according to official real estate registers. Baevsky is no stranger. He is considered “Putin’s broker” and is said to have procured residential properties for his daughters, among other things.

The list goes on and on. In 2013, Putin’s longtime friend Baevsky gave Kabaeva’s grandmother a plot of land and two houses with an area of ​​3,000 square meters in one of the most posh areas of Moscow, according to the Reuters news agency, among others. Interesting side story: The property is just 15 minutes from Putin’s private residence, Novo-Ogaryovo, from where he is usually flown by helicopter to the Kremlin.

The generous Putin friends

Not the only expensive surprise for Kabaeva’s grandmother. Putin’s friend Pyotr Kolbin also gifted her with real estate. In 2015 he is said to have signed over her two luxury apartments in the center of Moscow with a total area of ​​600 square meters. Only four days later she was delighted again: Gennady Timchenko, also a close friend of Putin, gave Kabaeva’s grandmother a luxurious apartment with a view of the water in Saint Petersburg.

Alina Kabaeva’s mother, in turn, received a property in Sochi. The chalet where she lives is in a prominent neighborhood: Ex-President Dmitry Medvedev and very wealthy Gazprom directors live within sight. Kabaeva’s mother is also said to have been given a luxury apartment in Moscow.

Perhaps the “most mysterious woman in Russia,” as she is often called in her home country, meant all this real estate business when she said meaningfully in an interview in 2014: “Everyone should have their own little secrets.” At that time, the report that first brought up the connection between her and Putin was already six years old.

In 2008, the Moscow newspaper “Moskowski Korrespondent” published the news. “The wedding is to take place on June 15,” wrote the newspaper. Two days after the reports appeared, the newspaper was pulped. For financial reasons, as the owner and publisher Alexander Lebedev never tired of emphasizing. Nevertheless, the Kremlin felt compelled to deny the report. From then on, the name of Alina Kabaeva no longer appeared in the reports of the state media. An instruction “from above” was confirmed by independent editorial offices in the country at the time.

Kabaeva won Olympic medals as a rhythmic gymnast in 2000 and 2004. From then on, the “most agile Russian in the world” had an impressive political career for an athlete who was still involved in a doping scandal in 2001. From 2007 to 2014 she was a deputy of the Russian State Duma for Putin’s United Russia party. Since September 2014 she has been Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Media Group (NMG). She didn’t have any experience in this area, but she did have something else: the power to prevent unpleasant stories about her (and Vladimir Putin).

Putin: “I’ve always hated them”

The British “Sun” wrote in a portrait about her a few years ago: “Since 2015 Alina Kabaeva seemed to lead the life of a first lady”. The paper listed in the report: Kabaeva has a whole fleet of limousines at her disposal and is accompanied by a group of armed security forces when she visits Moscow cafés. Does Putin have a finger in the pie or is that normal for a woman in her position? Not clear.

Only one thing is certain: If the media asks the Kremlin chief questions about Kabaeva, they will get the same answer today as they did in 2008. At the time, Vladimir Putin said, when asked about his rumored affair with the ex-Olympian: “I’ve always hated them who break into the private affairs of others with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies.”


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