Olympic gold medalist Alina Kabaeva, who is believed to have a secret family with the Russian leader, has been spotted for the second time in a week despite her usual reclusiveness
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Vladimir Putin’s “mistress” has flown to St. Petersburg ahead of a key economic forum he will use to save his country from the crippling effects of Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.
Normally reclusive rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva, 39, who was awarded Olympic gold and is suspected of having a secret family with the Kremlin leader, has been spotted for the second time in a week amid rumors of his ill health.
She was pictured with fierce-looking companions on a “private tour” of the city’s Russian Museum.
An eyewitness said she was prevented from approaching Kabaeva by the women – possibly plainclothes bodyguards – who were with her, Fontanka reported.
It is her second public appearance since Kabaeva was sanctioned by Britain, the EU and Canada for her close personal ties to Putin, ties which, if true, he has not admitted to the Russians.
She wore modest jeans, a white t-shirt and a blue jacket slung over her shoulders while carrying a large Valentino Roman Stud bag worth £4,220.
She is rumored to have two or three children with Putin, 69, and there has been an unconfirmed claim that she is pregnant again.
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Putin is said to have been “subdued and withdrawn” in the news, reported the General SVR Telegram channel, which was ahead of the game by claiming the Russian leader was suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Kabaeva has not commented on the sanctions imposed on her or on her closeness to Putin.
Last week, the glamorous ‘secret First Lady’ was photographed with children at a gymnastics training camp in Sochi, only her second appearance this year.
Putin is also set to speak at the annual International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg this week, despite a boycott by most Western participants due to the war in Ukraine.
He hopes to persuade Asian and other non-Western participants to shore up his creaking, sanctions-hit economy.
His spokesman accused the West of disrupting the crucial forum by pressuring foreign officials not to attend in order to punish Putin for the war in Ukraine.
He admitted there would be “fewer” Western businessmen and declined to name the expected foreigners.
“There will be fewer of them, not because they don’t want to, and not because they all made a decision like that,” he said.
And Russia would later grant benefits to those who defied Western pressure and remained loyal to Russia in its hour of need, he hinted.
Putin was also out today to present the honorees with the Hero of Russia awards, the country’s highest honor. The awards were presented as the country celebrated the annual Russia Day.
However, his public appearances are far less frequent than in previous years.
Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele recently told the BBC: “I don’t see him [Putin] be in power for more than three to six months from now. There are signs that his health is declining at first, which will help.
“And if what we’re being told by the CIA and others and our own sources is true, then it looks like he may become incapacitated over that period.”
“This is a strong man’s regime where people have to be afraid of the leader and if the leader is medically incapacitated then action will be taken against him I’m sure.”
Russian expert Professor Mark Galeotti told the Sunday Times today that Putin may be considering going to war in Ukraine in the short term amid persistent rumors about his health.
Kabaeva was spotted on a private tour of a special exhibition of Mikhail Vrubel’s works at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
A former Loyalist MP, she is now a media mogul and runs a company that owns pro-Putin TV stations and newspapers, for which she is estimated to make £8million a year.
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/vladimir-putins-mistress-makes-second-27211961 Vladimir Putin's mistress makes surprise appearance for second time in a week amid health rumors - World News