Before vanishing from public view, the glamorous ex-gymnast who is Vladimir Putin’s rumored longtime lover had glittered under a spotlight for two decades.
Alina Kabaeva was an Olympic gold-medal athlete in her teens in the 2000s, a member of Russia’s Parliament for years, and now, in her 30s, remains the boss, at least in name, of a major national media company.
But it would be as Putin’s reputed love interests for the past dozen years — — and quite possibly the mother to four of his children –that the spotlight would glare its brightest.
Since 2008, Europe’s tabloids have poured over her pregnancies, public appearances and online postings, speculating over a rumored romance that remained stubbornly unconfirmed by both Putin and Kabaeva.
Then suddenly — after she wore a billowing red dress to her last public appearance, in the fall of 2018, prompting rumors of yet another pregnancy — the spotlight clicked off, and she disappeared from public life.