Putin’s ‘lover’, 39, makes rare public appearance but shuns mention of bloody Ukraine war – or the claim that he soiled himself after falling down the stairs
- Alina Kabaeva, 39, is thought to be the long-time mistress of Vladimir Putin, 70
- She made a rare public appearance today, opening a new gymnastics centre
- It’s thought Russian state media are not permitted to discuss their relationship
The gold-medal winning Olympic star Alina Kabaeva, 39, has been seen less than half a dozen times this year, but appeared today to open a new gymnastics training centre.
Opening the new complex in Sochi, she avoided mention of Putin, 70, amid claims he had slipped on the stairs of his Moscow residence, and is suffering from cancer and other health problems.
She also made no direct reference to his war in Ukraine in which 100,000-plus Russians are believed to have been killed or maimed.
Alina Kabaeva, 39, is thought to be the long-time mistress of Vladimir Putin. She appeared today to open a new gymnastics training centre in Sochi, Russia
A teenage Kabaeva (right) smiles with Putin (left) during the gymnast’s visit to the Kremlin. The date the image was taken is not known
Putin hands Kabaeva a bouquet of flowers on the day she received the ‘For Merit to the Fatherland’ order in 2005
Instead she told gymnasts at the Divine Grace international tournament that the ‘impossible is possible’.
‘When I was in gymnastics, and an athlete, I could not even dream of such conditions [as you have in this new sports training centre],’ she said.
‘But as life shows, the impossible is possible.
‘And Russia is a country of big opportunities.’
The Moscow state media are not permitted to discuss her 15-year relationship with Putin nor the children they are rumoured to share.
The last time Russia’s undisclosed first lady was seen in public was in September.
Russian showbiz outlet Starhit described her as looking ‘slimmed down, with an elegantly shaped face’ – possibly alluding to the plastic surgery that both she and Putin are rumoured to undergo.
Kabaeva has no official role in Russia.
She supervised the new sports complex which is shaped like a gymnastic hoop.
Alina Kabaeva (left) is thought to be the long-time mistress of Putin. It is understood that the Moscow state media are not permitted to discuss her 15-year relationship with Putin nor the children they are rumoured to share
The gold-medal winning Olympic star Alina Kabaeva, 39, has been seen less than half a dozen times this year, but appeared today to open a new gymnastics training centre
Alina Kabaeva shakes hands with Vladimir Putin during a meeting with other gymnasts in Kremlin after her gold medal success at the 2004 Olympics
Rumours in September swirled that she has been ordered by Putin to have an abortion.
‘We already talked at the beginning of May this year that Alina Kabaeva was pregnant, and after the sex of the unborn child became known, we reported that Putin and Kabaeva would soon have a girl,’ posted Telegram channel General SVR in September.
‘But Russian President Vladimir Putin considered Kabaeva’s pregnancy untimely, and the birth of another, unplanned child, undesirable.
‘As a result, relations between Putin and Kabaeva worsened.
‘And at the end of August, the president insisted that Alina have an abortion, despite the fact that the pregnancy was already more than 20 weeks and there were no medical and social indications for abortion.
‘After the abortion, complications arose and for some time Kabaeva could not appear in public.’
The channel claims inside knowledge of Kremlin affairs without offering hard evidence.