Vladimir Putin: Craziest Life Facts to Know
Putin’s secret partner, Olympic gold medallist Alina Kabaeva
Mr Putin has never acknowledged a relationship with Ms Kabaeva, despite rumors they have had children together, and he jealously guards his right to a private life. Ms Kabaeva has been linked with no other partners for almost a decade despite being seen as one of Russia’s most eligible women.
Speculation first linked her and Mr Putin in 2008 when he attacked the “erotic fantasies” of journalists who poked their “snotty noses” into other people’s lives. This produced a stream of online comments.
One wrote: “What a beautiful woman! If they’re telling the truth about her and VVP, in his shoes I’d marry her and bring her into the limelight, not hide her.”
But another Ekaterina Zakharova replied: “They are already married and even in church — 100 per cent true information. So everything is fine.
Ms Kabaeva is a former MP in Mr Putin’s United Russia party, and now heads a giant pro-Kremlin media company.
Mr Putin divorced wife in 2014. He once said: “I have a private life in which I do not permit interference … it must be respected.”
Less likely to get the approved-leak treatment is a news of Kabaeva’s second child sired by Putin. In March,2015 the Swiss media reported that a baby girl Putin was born inside a super-secret birthing hospital, near the Italian border.
Putin was supposedly absent for the delivery, though automobiles with Russian license plates swarmed the area. While the world wants to know whether it’s true, Putin’s keeping mum and, in a culture where sensitive documents and adversarial reporters both have a way of disappearing, the question has yet to be raised at home.
“Rumors are out there and the birth in Switzerland has been reported in print and on the net,” says Gaddy who acknowledges that Putin is so closed off that writing about him requires artful speculation. “Questions about the baby would be good ones to ask — if only someone was brave enough to do it.”