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Alina Kabaeva, Putin's rumoured girlfriend, sanctioned by US. Why?

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaAug 03, 2022 | 15:18

Alina Kabaeva, Putin's rumoured girlfriend, sanctioned by US. Why?

Alina is a former star gymnast with two Olympic gold medals.

The US has imposed several sanctions on Russia ever since the Vladimir Putin-led country invaded Ukraine and started what is now a war in its 6th month. Some of these sanctions hurt the US as much as they did Russia, and some, not as much. On August 2, the US imposed a fresh round of sanctions on some of the Russian elite.

Enter Alina Maratovna Kabaeva: Alina Maratovna Kabaeva, who is rumoured to be Putin's girlfriend, has also found herself sanctioned by the US "for being a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of the Government of the Russian Federation", a Treasury Department statement said.

That statement also described the 39-year-old Kabaeva as having "a close relationship with Putin", pretty much the reason why she has been sanctioned.  Alina Kabaeva is among the 13 Russian nationals added to the Treasury Department's sanctions list.

So, who is Alina Kabaeva? Alina Maratovna Kabaeva, who has been MIA for four years now, is a former star gymnast who holds two Olympic gold medals. But lately, she has become better known as the 69-year-old Russian leader's rumoured girlfriend. Vladimir Putin, who is 30 years older than Kabaeva, apparently began the love affair with her in 2006. 

The 'most flexible woman in Russia': Formerly known as the most 'flexible woman in Russia', Kabaeva's records include two Olympic gold medals, 14 World Championship medals and 21 European Championship medals.  

Kabaeva had a daughter in the latter half of 2000 with Putin as per a local newspaper. However, the newspaper that reported this story, was forced to shut down later. Putin was married to Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya back then, with whom he had two daughters. The couple were divorced in 2014.

From 2007 to 2014, Kabaeva was a State Duma Deputy from United Russia. In September 2013, Kabaeva became the chairwoman of the board of directors of the National Media Group.

Putin has been always been secretive about his private life and in an interview with Sunday times he made his views very clear.

"I've always had a negative feeling about people poking their snotty noses and erotic fantasies into other people's lives, the secret affair."
- Vladimir Putin

A little more about Kabaeva: 

  • Alina Kabaeva has also tried her hand at acting and singing. In 2001, she was seen in a Japanese movie, Red Shadow, in which she performed her gymnastic routine. 
  • She tried her luck at singing but later abandoned it as a career. 
  • She has also modelled for Vogue Russia
  • She has also served as a State Duma legislator for Putin's party.
  • Currently, she is the head of the pro-Kremlin National Media Group, which publishes newspapers and operates a network of TV and radio stations, and draws a reported salary of USD 10 million a year.
  • In 2001, Putin awarded Kabaeva an Order of Friendship during the annual award ceremony at the Kremlin.

Where is Alina Kabaeva now? Alina Kabaeva is hiding with her four children in Switzerland at the moment, according to Page Six. She is on the list of 13 Russian nationals sanctioned by the US in the latest round of sanctions.

Last updated: August 03, 2022 | 15:19
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