Vladimir Putin 'mistress' re-surfaces amid calls to strip Olympic medals

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Alina Kabaeva, pictured here making her first public appearance since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Alina Kabaeva made her first public appearance since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Image: Getty/Twitter

The gymnast 'lover' of Vladimir Putin has made a rare public appearance in Moscow, re-surfacing for the first time since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Alina Kabaeva, one of Russia’s most famous gymnasts who won gold at the Olympics, has long been rumoured to be the mistress of president Putin.

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The 38-year-old was photographed on Thursday for the first time since Russia's invasion of Ukraine amid rumours she's been hiding out in Switzerland.

Kabaeva was spotted at a rehearsal at Moscow’s VTB Arena ahead of the Alina Festival - her annual junior gymnastics charity event scheduled to take place on Saturday.

Rhythmic gymnastics choreographer Yekaterina Sirotina posted photos with Kabaeva, thanking her for a “very special creative atmosphere at the event”.

The photos have since sparked speculation in local media that Kabaeva appeared to have used Botox and fillers since her last public appearance.

Russian Cosmopolitan said: “Something has really changed in Kabaeva’s face”, adding that “the legendary athlete was noticeably prettier”.

“Alina Kabaeva is one of the most mysterious and secretive women in our country.

“The gymnast almost never appears in public, does not (appear in) social networks, and it is not possible to accidentally see her on the street or in shopping centres.”

Telegram channel Tol’ko Nikomu appeared to suggest she and Putin share the same cosmetic injector.

“A new rare appearance of Alina Kabaeva. This time she is dressed casually – and is again seen with a wedding ring," they said.

“And yes, the handwriting of the family beautician is quite notable.”

Vladimir Putin, pictured here with Alina Kabaeva after awarding her with an Order of Friendship in 2001.
Vladimir Putin with Alina Kabaeva after awarding her with an Order of Friendship in 2001. (Photo by SERGEI CHIRIKOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Calls to strip Olympic medals from Alina Kabaeva

Kabaeva is widely reported to be Putin's mistress and allegedly has a number of 'secret' children with the Russian president.

The 38-year-old won gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, as well as a bronze medal in Sydney in 2000.

She also won 14 world championship medals and 21 European championship medals in an illustrious career.

Putin's opponents in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia have launched a number of petitions calling for action to be taken against Kabaeva.

One petition called for Swiss authorities to investigate the gymnast's alleged presence in their country, while another wants the International Olympic Committee to strip her medals.

“We, the citizens of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, which is currently undergoing immense suffering, are uniting to appeal to the Swiss authorities,” one petition states on Change.org.

Alina Kabaeva, pictured here celebrating after winning gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Alina Kabaeva celebrates after winning gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

“The public has just learned that the Russian political and media figure, and former [rhythmic gymnast], Alina Kabaeva, is hiding the consequences of the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation in your country.

“She is the favourite wife of delusional dictator and war criminal who has been treacherously attacking Ukraine over the past weeks.

“As she is supportive of social activities in Russia, she has been attempting to get Russian citizens accustomed to the reality of sanctions after 2014, and personally proclaimed: ‘The worse it gets, the better for us!’”

Conflicting reports claimed Kabaeva was actually hiding out in a bunker in the Altai Mountains of Siberia.

Political scientist Valery Solovey said in March: "In fact, it is not a bunker, but a whole underground city, equipped with the latest science and technology."

Another petition on Change.org has called for Kabaeva to be stripped of her Olympic medals, claiming "she and other supporters of Putin are no less culpable for terrorising the innocent people of Ukraine."

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