Alina Kabaeva, also known as Kabayeva, is a retired individual rhythmic gymnast from Russia who is also a politician and media manager. The Russian government has honored her as an Honored Master of Sports.
With two Olympic medals, 14 medals from the World Championships, and 21 medals from the European Championships, Kabaeva is one of rhythmic gymnastics’ most decorated athletes. She has supposedly been Vladimir Putin’s mistress for a very long time.
Kabaeva served as a United Russia State Duma representative from 2007 to 2014. Kabaeva assumed the role of chairwoman of the National Media Group’s board of directors in September 2014.
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What to know about the relationship between Alina Kabaeva and Vladimir Putin
The former Olympic gymnast who has long been thought to be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s lover has been sanctioned by the United States, adding her name to the expanding list of people who will be subject to financial penalties in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
For more than ten years, Alina Kabaeva, 39, and Vladimir Putin, 69, have been romantically associated. It is believed that they have at least three children together. The Treasury Department said in announcing the penalties on her on Tuesday that “Kabaeva has a close relationship to Putin” and that they were intended to “impose severe costs for those who support President Vladimir Putin’s war.”
Putin’s allies have enriched themselves and supported lavish lifestyles, while innocent people suffer as a result of Russia’s unlawful war of aggression, according to a statement from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The Treasury Department has stated that
Although Kabaeva and Putin’s relationship has long been denied by the Kremlin, there have been rumors of it for more than ten years.
Putin has never acknowledged any such relationship, and Kabaeva has categorically rejected any such connection. During a press conference in Italy in 2008 with Silvio Berlusconi, the nation’s then-elective prime minister, the renownedly private Russian president was questioned about Kabaeva.
Putin shot off the reports, saying, “I am, of course, aware of the cliché that politicians live in glass houses, but even in these cases, there must be some limits,” He said, “I always disliked people who go around with their erotic fantasies, sticking their snot-ridden noses into another person’s life.”
Putin watched as Berlusconi acted out firing an imagined machine gun at the question-asking reporter.
The Moskovsky Korrespondent, a Russian tabloid controlled by a former Soviet intelligence officer, had recently reported that Putin intended to wed Kabaeva when the topic was raised. The newspaper’s publication was abruptly halted “for financial reasons” and never resumed.
Kabaeva is the most recent person in Putin’s inner circle to be subject to sanctions as payback for the conflict in Ukraine. The United States has declared sanctions against a variety of Russian banks and companies, Putin associates, and even two of his adult daughters since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February.
However, according to Rachel Ziemba, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, it’s unclear at this stage of the conflict how far sanctions on any particular person will go to deter Putin. According to Ziemba, there is scant evidence that Kabaeva even has financial assets in the United States, and in light of previous sanctions imposed on her by the United Kingdom and the European Union, she has probably “prepared for the risk” of being punished by the United States.
The objective is to make Putin’s life and the lives of those close to him more difficult in the hopes that this will force them to alter their course, according to Ziemba.
There have been rumors that she and their presumed children fled into hiding in a very secure Swiss villa after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.
She has, however, made at least one public appearance since then: in April, she spoke at a gymnastics show in Moscow in front of a backdrop constructed of “Zs,” which has come to represent support for the Russian invasion among some.
Putin, on the other hand, has remained silent on his purported romance or the kids he is thought to have sired with either Kabaeva or another woman.
One of Russia’s most accomplished rhythmic gymnasts in history is Kabaeva. She started playing the sport when she was 4 years old and went on to win 21 medals at European Championships, 14 at World Championships, and 2 at the Olympics, including a gold in the Athens 2004 Games. The “Kabaeva,” her signature move, gave her the nickname “Russia’s most flexible woman.”
However, she faced some controversy throughout her career. She tested positive in 2001 during the Goodwill Games in Australia for the illegal medication furosemide, a diuretic that some athletes take to shed pounds or cover up the usage of other drugs. She claimed the chemical came from a contaminated tablet she purchased at a nearby pharmacy, and she denied doping. She was nonetheless briefly disqualified from the competition and compelled to give over her Madrid World Championship medals.
Kabaeva declared her retirement in October 2004. The Russian head coach Irina Viner did, however, hint at a potential comeback in June 2005. On September 10, 2005, Kabaeva resumed her sporting career at a friendly match between Italy and Russia in Genoa. On March 5, 2006, Kabaeva won the Gazprom Moscow Grand Prix. Vera Sessina and Olga Kapranova, both Russians, finished second and third, respectively. Behind teammate Sessina, Kabaeva took home the silver medal in the All-Around event at the 2006 European Championships.
Russia was represented by Kabaeva, Sessina, and Kapranova in the 2007 European Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. Kabaeva withdrew from the competition, nevertheless, because of an injury. Viner substituted Russian gymnast Evgenia Kanaeva, a budding star on the national team.
Kabaeva was one of the six Russian athletes that carried the Olympic flame across Fisht Stadium during the 2014 Winter Olympics’ Opening Ceremony. Because of her supposed strong ties with President Vladimir Putin, her appointment as a torch bearer caused controversy in the world media.
Kabaeva attended the 2015 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, as an honorary guest. She was appointed the official FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics Ambassador in 2017 at the Pesaro, Italy, World Championships.
Politics And Media Career
Kabaeva has been a part of the Russian Public Chamber since 2005. She has served as the Public Council’s chairwoman since February 2008, according to the National Media Group [ru], the organization that owns Izvestia, Channel One, and REN TV.
Kabaeva served as a State Duma member for the United Russia party in the Russian parliament from 2007 to 2014. She supported several contentious laws in her capacity as a member of parliament that was swiftly passed in 2012 and 2013, such as the Anti-Magnitsky bill that outlawed intercountry adoption (of Russian orphans by families in the United States), the Russian gay propaganda law that made it illegal to distribute “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” among minors, and the extrajudicial ban on access to websites that may host materials.
Kabaeva left the Duma in September 2014 to become the chairman of the board of directors of the National Media Group, the biggest media conglomerate in Russia. When assigned to political and media positions, she received criticism for her lack of expertise and excessive income.
Sanctions were put in place after the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine against a number of Russian political and business figures. The US Department of the Treasury had drafted penalties against Kabaeva, but the US government withheld them because of concern that her purported friendship with Putin would cause tensions between the US and Russia to rise. Kabaeva’s assets were finally added to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List by the Office of Foreign Assets Control on August 3, 2022, and U.S. citizens were therefore forbidden from doing business with her.
Kabaeva and her grandma Anna Zatseplina received a warning from the UK on May 13, 2022. Canada levied sanctions on Kabaeva on May 27. The European Union imposed sanctions against her on June 3. She received a sanction from Australia on July 1.
Like it was stated above in this article the Moskovsky Korrespondent revealed that Kabaeva was engaged to Vladimir Putin in April 2008. The claim was rejected, and the publication was forced to close. In the years that followed, rumors about Kabaeva and Putin’s relationship surfaced, including claims that the two of them are parents to numerous children.
Kabaeva stated that she was childless in July 2013. She reportedly gave birth to a daughter at the VIP hospital of Saint Ann in Ticino, Switzerland, in March 2015. She allegedly gave birth to twin sons in 2019 at Moscow’s Kulakov maternity facility.
However, the Swiss tabloid SonntagsZeitung stated in 2022 that a Swiss gynecologist of Russian descent assisted at both births, noting that both of the boys born in 2015 and 2019 were Putin’s kids.
Kabaeva has resided in Lugano and Cologny, Switzerland, over extended periods of time since 2015, according to U.S. and European security sources.