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Who is Alina Kabaev ? Putin's alleged lover and the mother of his secret twins

Alina Kabaeva, who was thought to be Russian President Vladimir Putin's longtime lover, disappeared from public view in 2019. Sources told that they think she is hiding in Switzerland with their four young children.

The 38-year-old former rhythmic gymnastics Olympic champion is said to be hunkering down as Putin continues his invasion of Ukraine, which has killed hundreds of civilians and led to the West putting a lot of economic pressure on Russia. "While Putin attacks innocent Ukrainian citizens and creates a refugee crisis in Ukraine, his family is holed up in a very private and very secure chalet somewhere in Switzerland, at least for now," a source told Page Six.

There are rumors that Kabaeva and the Russian president have given birth to two boys and twin girls, all of whom were born in Switzerland, through their relationship. "All of the kids have Swiss passports, and I think she does too," said the person. Kabaeva has been famous for more than half of her life, first as a talented gymnast and then as a model, politician, and media mogul in Russia.

She was a teenager when she first backflipped onto the world stage in a blaze of sequins.

Vladimir Putin and Alina Kabayeva seen in 2001
Vladimir Putin and Alina Kabayeva in 2001
AFP via Getty Images

She was called "the most flexible woman in Russia" because of how strong and flexible she was and how well she could use the ball and ribbons in rhythmic gymnastics.

The Sunday Times says that Putin, who likes judo and ice hockey, first met Kabaeva when she was at the top of her athletic game. She had just won a bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and a gold medal four years later in Athens.

After retiring from gymnastics in 2005, Kabaeva, who was born in Uzbekistan, tried a number of different jobs that all took advantage of her gymnastics fame.

A singing career was tried and then given up on.

She did some modeling, and once she was on the cover of Vogue Russia in a $33,000 gold dress.

She was a member of the Duma, the lower level of parliament in Russia, for eight years. She was picked by Putin's United Russia party and ran under its banner.

But the first time she was said to be Russia's "Secret First Lady" was in 2008.

Alina Kabaeva performing rhythmic gymnastics during a competition.

A Russian tabloid said that Putin was dating Kabaeva, a woman who was only half his age, and that he planned to get a divorce from his wife of 30 years so that he could marry her.

The billionaire who owned the paper had to shut it down soon after the exclusive because of "financial problems."

Since then, the Kremlin has flatly denied that there was any connection, and Putin has stayed quiet on the subject.

The Russian press thinks it's dangerous to even ask.

Alina Kabaeva in 2008

The Sunday Times says Putin once said, "I've always felt bad about people sticking their snotty noses and erotic fantasies into other people's lives."

Mostly, Europe's tabloids have been the ones to keep the rumor mill going.

In June 2013, when Putin divorced his wife Lyudmila Putina, a former Aeroflot flight attendant and the mother of his two known children, there were a lot of rumors.

"I like all Russian women," said the newly single man in response to a question about whether he was seeing anyone else.

After Putin's divorce, Kabaeva was more flirty. She told the press that she had met someone "whom I love very much."

The UK's Express newspaper said that she wouldn't say who it was.

She did say, in a cryptic way, "Sometimes you feel so happy that you're scared."

Kabaeva of Russia (right) winning bronze at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

When it was said that Kabaeva would light the Olympic flame at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, but it turned out to be false, the tabloids went crazy.

Later, when Kabaeva was in Moscow to host a gymnastics competition, she wore a flowy red dress that made people think she was pregnant again.

Then, in 2017, Kabaeva went to the Adriatic coast of Italy and showed off what looked like a wedding ring. It was a band on the fourth finger of her right hand, which is what married women in Russia usually wear.

Alina Kabaeva at the Athens 2004 Olympics Games.

The UK's Express newspaper said that she had just been named an ambassador for the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships. She told the press that it was "a great honor."

She didn't answer questions about the ring, even though it looked like she was showing it to the cameras. Instead, she said, "The fact that Russia's representative was given this job means that our country is recognized."

Even though Kabaeva is one of the most eligible women in her country, she hasn't been linked to any other suitors over the years.

But her wealth has grown to the level of a first lady.

She is still the official head of the National Media Group, a TV, radio, and print empire that supports the Kremlin. The Sunday Times says that she has a group of security guards and a fleet of luxury cars at her disposal.

The Sunday Times said that the last time anyone saw Kabaeva in public was in October 2018, when she defended her Ph.D. thesis on teaching rhythmic gymnastics to preschoolers.

Kabaeva's oldest child is a boy who was born in 2009. She also gave birth to a girl in 2013.

Even though most sources say her children were born in Switzerland, some say her sons were likely born in a Moscow hospital in May 2019.

A Russian intelligence source told an exiled investigative journalist working for the Sunday Times that the twins were born through a cesarean section on a VIP floor that was empty of other patients.

The good news about Kabaeva's new babies was briefly posted on the website of a well-known Russian newspaper, according to the Sunday Times.

It "disappeared without a trace soon after, leading to rumors that the Kremlin had taken action to protect Putin's privacy."


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