Olympic gold medal winner and former gymnast Alina Kabaeva, who is rumored to be Russian President Vladimir Putin's long-time partner, has recently given birth to twins, according to reports in Moscow. Neither Kabaeva nor the Kremlin confirmed their relationship.
A source close to 36-year-old Kabaeva was quoted saying: "We do not comment on the rumors," according to the Daily Mail. Reports state that the entire VIP fourth floor at the Kulakov Research Centre for Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatology was cleared earlier this month to accommodate the former gymnast and MP.
A major Russian outlet, Moskovsky Komsomolets, had reportedly carried the story of the birth on its website. However, the outlet deleted the article and wiped any mention of such claims. The reports of the births have persisted regardless with one outlet, dni.ru, running the story with the headline: "Alina Kabaeva gave birth to twins and disappeared".
An investigative journalist close to the Russian intelligence services, Sergei Kanev, also posted the news that Kabaeva gave birth to twin boys by Caesarean. The journalist was reportedly informed that "countless" Federal Protective Service officers were brought in and "sniffed every corner" of the maternity hospital before the former gymnast arrived at the medical facility.
Kanev, citing his sources, said: "Half of the medical team was kicked out of the delivery ward. A famous doctor from Italy was the key to helping the birth with the assistance of academician Gennady Sukhikh, director of the medical centre. The mother was delivered of two boys. However, a C-section had to be performed."
The nation's two popular news outlets Life and REN TV, controlled by Kabaeva, however, did not mention the birth of the ex-gymnast's alleged twins.
Reports state that the news of the birth was originally revealed by an exclusive by showbiz news website Dom2Life owned by a judo-loving tycoon Alexander Karmanov on 12 May. Karmanov, according to Russian researchers, is close to oligarch Arkady Rotenberg, one of Putin's oldest friends, and his former judo sparring partner.
The report of Kabaeva giving birth to twins comes after a series of often uncomplimentary "stories" about the former gymnast. According to a media analyst: "There seems to be a campaign against her but it is not clear who is behind this." One of the theories is that many of the unfavorable reports originate in Ukraine which has a turbulent relationship with Russia ever since Putin annexed Crimea in 2014.