Who is Vladimir Putin's girlfriend Alina Kabaeva? How Russian president found love with gymnast 30 years his junior
Dubbed as Putin's secret first lady and 'Russia’s First Mistress', she was first linked to Putin in 2008
Is Vladimir Putin putting down his papers? President of Russia since 2012, the politician earlier held that position from 1999 until 2008. As per a report that quotes Moscow sources, the 68-year-old is planning to quit in January next year. As shocking speculations swirl around his ill health, Kremlin watchers said recent tell-tale footage hinted at possible symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
Moscow political scientist Valery Solovei told The Sun that the Russian strongman’s 37-year-old undisclosed girlfriend, Alina Kabaeva, and his two daughters — Maria Vorontsova, 35, Katerina Tikhonova, 34 — are pushing him to leave office. “There is a family, it has a great influence on him. He intends to make public his handover plans in January,” Solovei told the news outlet.
Speculation that his 20-year-reign was about to come to an end first surfaced when laws were drafted to make him a senator-for-life when he resigns, as per the same report. Putin, who was also the Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012, has released photos of himself looking fit and fabulous. However, in recent footage reviewed by an observer, he appeared to be in agony while appearing to constantly shift his legs and twitch his fingers as he held a cup that possibly contained medicine, The Sun reports.
Of his for-life move, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: “This is the practice that is being applied in many countries of the world, and it is quite justified. This is not innovation from the point of view of international practice.” Amid all the rumors, here's a glimpse of his relationship history and his current rumored girlfriend.
Who is Lyudmila Putina?
Born Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, he met his first wife Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya in Leningrad when she was a flight attendant for the Kaliningrad branch of Aeroflot. the daughter of Alexander Shkrebnev and Yekaterina Tikhonovna Shkrebneva, she graduated from the branch of Spanish language and philology of the Department of Philology of Leningrad State University in 1986.
The two fell in love and got married on July 28, 1983. After their marriage, Lyudmila taught German at Leningrad State University from 1990 to 1994 and before Putin was appointed as Prime Minister of Russia in 1999, she was a Moscow representative of the company Telecominvest. The pair has two daughters, Maria, born 1985, and Katerina, born 1986.
A 30-year marriage that ended in divorce
The couple parted ways after 30 years of being married and announced their divorce on June 6, 2013, based on a mutual decision. “We will remain very close people forever. I am grateful to Vladimir for his support,” Lyudmila said and Putin remarked, “This (divorce) was our joint decision. Our marriage is over. We hardly see each other. Each of us has our own lives.”
In April that year, when Putin was asked if he was happy during the nationwide Q&A session, he said, “This is a philosophical question. I am infinitely grateful to life and Russian citizens for entrusting me to be the president of Russia. My life is in it... I do not know whether it is enough to be happy.” In 2015, Lyudmila then got married to Artur Ocheretny.
Who is Alina Kabaeva?
Born in 1983 in Uzbekistan, Alina Kabaeva grew up in a sporting family, became a rising star in rhythmic gymnastics from the age of three. In her stellar career, she clinched 2 Olympic medals, 14 World Championship medals, and 25 European Championship medals. Not just that, she also went on to win Gold at the 2004 Athens Games and Bronze in 2000 in Sydney.
Dubbed as Putin's secret first lady and “Russia’s First Mistress,” she was first linked to Putin in 2008 after a Moscow newspaper run by media tycoon and former KGB spy Alexander Lebedev reported their relationship. Although the two never openly addressed those rumors, she was spotted wearing a ring on her wedding finger in 2016, which she seemed to attempt to hide from the cameras.
Secret love life and 'Russia’s First Mistress'
After Putin's divorce in 2013, he refuses to speak about his private life. Furthermore, speculation is rife that the elite pair already has a secret family — although such claims have been denied by the Kremlin outright, Daily Mail reports. As per The Sun, Vlad “almost accidentally revealed a mystery woman in his life when he was filmed opening a car door before swiftly slamming it shut” in July 2017.
During an annual televised press conference that ran for almost four hours, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday was asked by journalist Alexander Yunashev from the tabloid LifeNews when he is getting married and with whom. In response, the Russian strongman subtly smiled and admitted that he intends to wed again in the future. “As a respectable person, I will have to do it sooner or later,” Putin said.
Do the two have twins together?
At a central Moscow polling station, when Kabaeva arrived for the 2018 Presidential Election, she declined to say who she was voting for but made it clear: “He will surely win.” The Sun also reported that in 2017, there were rumors that “Kabaeva was pregnant when she attended a girls’ gymnastics competition in Moscow wearing a loose-fitting red dress – which appeared to be hiding a bump.”
A Moscow source told The Sun: “Putin is an intensely private man - he has been hiding his two adult daughters under fake IDs for years. Even now, though he talks about them occasionally, he never names them. If Alina gave birth to his children, her hiding away might be one of the strongest hints pointing to this. He is obsessive about the security of his family.”