Vladimir Putin’s rumoured sex-mad lover has reappeared after bizarre claims she had been under virtual house arrest in a presidential palace.
Olympic Gold-winning rhythmic gymnastics star Alina Kabaeva had last been seen on October 22 – the same day it was claimed the Russian despot suffered a severe heart attack.
Now, three videos have emerged, issued by her academy with English subtitles, showing an unsmiling and stern-faced Kabaeva overseeing the training of young stars at her gymnastics academy in Black Sea resort Sochi.
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The videos are seen as new, with an observer noting they were released more than 40 days after outlandish reports that Putin, 71, had died on October 26 following the heart attack, and been replaced by a body double who had been given extensive plastic surgery and was controlled by his secret services.
Forty days is seen as the mourning period by the Orthodox Church.
Telegram channel General SVR along with Russian political analyst Dr Valery Solovey suggested Kabaeva had been under virtual house arrest in a luxury forest palace in Valdai, north of Moscow, a location guarded by air defence systems guarding against Ukrainian attack.
One report said the 40-year-old had strongly objected to being holed up in the high security estate, where she is known to have a separate residence which she shares with her children.
She had turned from a “shadow first lady into a prisoner”, alleged the Telegram channel.
“Alina suddenly began breaking dishes and randomly throwing cutlery, after which she began to cry hysterically,” said the account.
“Security service representatives tried to calm Kabaeva down and urgently called doctors.”
Another theory is that she disappeared so to have another round of plastic surgery.
“She has had long absences before for pregnancies and plastic surgery,” said one observer.
Kabaeva and Putin were first linked in reports 15 years ago in a newspaper owned by his former KGB spy colleague, although the dictator has always denied a relationship with the gymnast.
Despite this, she is surrounded by heavy state security.
"I have a private life in which I do not permit interference. It must be respected,” he barked in one interview.
He deplored "those who with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies prowl into others' lives”.
Kabaeva is on record saying she had met an unnamed man who "I love very much”, gushing: "Sometimes you feel so happy that you even feel scared.”
This was after she posed almost nude for Maxim magazine and was described as “full of sex” by a photographer.
In the footage, Kabaeva is seen wearing a wedding ring, taken as evidence that the glamorous woman, often described as Putin’s “lover”, was in fact married to him in a secret ceremony.
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