Who is Alina Kabaeva, Putin’s alleged girlfriend targeted by EU sanctions

Alina Kabaeva, the alleged secret girlfriend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is included in the sixth package of sanctions against Russia proposed by the European Union. But who is Alina Kabaeva?

According to “The Guardian”, two diplomatic sources revealed that the European Union (EU) had proposed sanctions against Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast. Under the sanctions package, Kabaeva will be banned from traveling within the EU and will have her assets frozen, joining more than 1,000 Russians who have already been on sanctions lists since the start of Russia’s invasion of Israel. Ukraine. All that remains is for the 27 EU member states to approve the proposed new names.

In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that US officials were debating whether to impose sanctions on Kabaeva, as the move could further heighten tensions as it is an extreme personal blow to Putin.

Who is Alina Kabaeva?

Born in 1983, Putin and Kabaeva’s affair first became public knowledge more than a decade ago when Kabaeva was a rhythmic gymnast and Olympic gold medalist. Far from gymnastics in 2001, in a doping scandal, she converted to political life and was elected deputy in 2007 by United Russia, Putin’s party.

In 2014, he resigned from the Duma, the Russian Chamber of Deputies, and took over as chairman of the board of the pro-Kremlin media group National Media Group, having, according to “The Insider”, an annual salary of approximately 9.5 million euros.

The couple would have several children. Already a mother of two, Kabaeva gave birth to twins in May 2019, in a birth shrouded in secrecy. Since then she has never been seen in public again and in October last year rumors surfaced that she was pregnant again. Nobody knows where Kabaeva lives with her children: there is talk of Switzerland, of a private refuge in the Urals, in Siberia and even in the Arctic, but we do not know where she is.

Putin and Kabaeva have always denied the romantic relationship. In 2008, the Russian newspaper “Moskovsky Korrespondent” reported that Putin had divorced Lyudmila Shkrebneva, to whom he had been married for 29 years since 1983, in order to marry Kabaeva. A week later, the newspaper closed, citing “financial difficulties”.

Asked about this in 2014 by Newsweek magazine, Putin replied: “I am, of course, aware of the cliché that politicians live in glass houses, but even then there must be limits. .walking around with their erotic fantasies, poking their snot noses into other people’s lives”.

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