US sanctions Putin’s ‘gymnast lover girlfriend’ and the ‘mother of his two children’ Alina Kabaeva

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Alina Kabaeva on Tuesday, a former Olympic gymnast who is believed to have a secret family with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Announcing the move, the Treasury coyly described the 39-year-old gold medallist as having ‘a close relationship to Putin.’

But other countries have gone further, with Canadian foreign affairs minister Melanie Joly calling the glamorous former athlete ‘his partner.’

Putin has always denied that they are romantically linked or that he has two children with her.

The latest round of sanctions, designed to force Putin to think again in Ukraine, also targets Publichnoe Aktsionernoe Obschestvo Magnitogorskiy Metallurgicheskiy Kombinat (MMK), one of the world’s biggest producers of steel as well as its majority owner Viktor Rashnikov. 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said: ‘As innocent people suffer from Russia’s illegal war of aggression, Putin’s allies have enriched themselves and funded opulent lifestyles

‘The Treasury Department will use every tool at our disposal to make sure that Russian elites and the Kremlin’s enablers are held accountable for their complicity in a war that has cost countless lives.’

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Alina Kabaeva on Tuesday, a former Olympic gymnast who is believed to have a secret family with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Putin has denied any romantic relationship with the 39-year-old former gymnast, and the U.S. pulled her name from a sanctions list earlier this year for fear it would enflame tensions

Putin has denied any romantic relationship with the 39-year-old former gymnast, and the U.S. pulled her name from a sanctions list earlier this year for fear it would enflame tensions

The United Kingdom sanctioned Kabaeva in May, but the US removed her from a proposed list. At the time, officials reasoned that it was such a personal attack on Putin that it could escalate tensions between Russia and the US.

Yet other countries piled on, and made no secret that they believed her to be Putin’s lover.

She was spotted in public in June soon after the moves, appearing at the Black Sea resort of Sochi at a rhythmic gymnastics training camp with 28 children.

News outlet Moskovsky Komsomolets commented that she had ‘lost quite a lot of weight.’

They said: ‘Alina loves expensive stylish outfits, which, being the head of the National Media Group, she can afford….

‘Alina talked with the children in white trousers, a lilac long sleeve [blouse] and a matching cardigan.

‘The tanned star covered her eyes with stylish white-framed sunglasses. ‘

The Treasury said in a statement that Kabaeva heads the National Media Group, a pro-Kremlin group of media organizations. But the sanctions will likely strike close to home for Putin

The Treasury said in a statement that Kabaeva heads the National Media Group, a pro-Kremlin group of media organizations. But the sanctions will likely strike close to home for Putin

It was the first time she has been out in public since April when she recorded a militaristic and patriotic TV extravaganza involving children, and appeared with youngsters at Moscow’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to commemorate the dead from World War Two. 

Her reappearance came soon after a Telegram channel branded her the ‘invisible princess’. 

As Putin struggles in the war with Ukraine she told the 28 young gymnasts in Sochi: ‘I want to urge everyone not to give up – reach your goals, do not lose heart.’

While she is a leading sportswoman and celebrity in Russia, and heads a staunchly pro-Kremlin media empire, her suspected status as Putin’s partner is off limits to the media.

Speculation suggests she and Putin have children together – two sons, born in 2015 and 2019 – but the Russian public has not been informed if her true status is a secret first lady.

Earlier in the war, there were claims Kabaeva was hiding in a Swiss bolthole, or even a hi-tech Siberian ‘underground city bunker’. 

The Treasury said in a statement that Kabaeva heads the National Media Group, a pro-Kremlin group of media organizations.

Recently, all information about The National Media Group (NMG) – where she is chairman – was wiped from open databases.

Kabaeva won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She is seen here performing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics where she took bronze in the rhythmic gymnastics

Kabaeva won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She is seen here performing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics where she took bronze in the rhythmic gymnastics

Her salary at this group, which controls multiple pro-Putin TV and newspaper outlets, has been estimated at almost £8 million a year, compared with the Russian average annual figure of £5,600.

But now all details have vanished from open databases, reports ‘Mozhem Obyasnit’ (We can explain) Telegram channel.

‘The register was cleared immediately after the imposition of sanctions against Alina Kabaeva by the UK,’ added the channel which called her ‘The Invisible Princess’.

Kabaeva is believed to be based in Sochi where a huge gymnastic centre in her name is under construction on the edge of the city’s Winter Olympics park.

Aerial pictures show a huge development on a project which began in 2017.

Rumours first linked Kabaeva romantically to Putin as long ago as 2008 when she was a pro-Kremlin MP.

The newspaper printing the story was rapidly closed down.

Putin – who in 2013 announced his divorce from wife Lyudmila, a former Aeroflot stewardess – has previously said: ‘I have a private life in which I do not permit interference. It must be respected.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.