Alina Kabaeva, 36, is an Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast and reportedly the Russian President’s lover
Reports in Moscow claim that glamorous ex-gymnast Alina Kabaeva – rumoured to be Vladimir Putin’s long-time partner – recently gave birth to twins.
There has been no confirmation from the Olympic gold medal winner and the Kremlin never discusses the president’s private life with the state-run media in Russia obediently following suit.
A source close to 36-year-old Kabaeva was quoted saying: ‘We do not comment on the rumours.’
The entire VIP fourth floor at the Kulakov Research Centre for Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatology was cleared earlier this month to accommodate the former gymnast and MP, say reports.
One major newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets carried the story on its website only to suddenly delete it and wipe all mentions of the claims, including from the internet cache.
But the reports have persisted with one outlet dni.ru running the headline: ‘Alina Kabaeva gave birth to twins and disappeared.’
Separately, Sergei Kanev, an investigative journalist close to the Russian intelligence services, posting that she gave birth to twin boys by Caesarean.
Vladimir Putin and Alina Kabaeva – the Kremlin refuse to give information about the President’s private life and discussions of his romantic life are seen as taboo in Russia
This Alina Kabayeva’s picture taken several years ago sparked pregnancy rumours before she reportedly gave birth to a boy in 2015 at a private Swiss clinic
He was informed that ‘countless’ Federal Protective Service officers were brought in and ‘sniffed every corner’ of the maternity hospital before her arrival.
‘Half of the medical team was kicked out of the delivery ward,’ he said, citing his own source.
‘A famous doctor from Italy was the key to helping the birth with the assistance of academician Gennady Sukhikh, director of the medical centre.
‘The mother was delivered of two boys. However, a C-section had to be performed.’
He did not name the Italian doctor.
There has been no mention of the ex-gymnast’s alleged twins in popular news outlets Life and REN TV which are controlled by Kabaeva, who now heads TV and newspaper giant National Media Group.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Russian gymnasts Alina Kabayeva (centre) and Svetlana Khorkina ahead of the Olympics in 2004
Alina Kabaeva during qualification of 2017 World Championships for gymnastics in Pesaro, Italy (left and right)
The glamorous athlete has appeared on the cover of Russian Vogue – pictured here at the Mariinsky Concert Hall in St Petersburg in 2008
The ‘story’ was originally revealed as an exclusive by showbiz news website Dom2Life owned by a judo-loving tycoon Alexander Karmanov on 12 May, Kabaeva’s 36th birthday.
Intriguingly, Russian researchers say Karmanov is close to oligarch Arkady Rotenburg, one of Putin’s oldest friends, and his former judo sparring partner.
The report about her giving birth to twins follows a series of ‘stories’ about Kabaeva – often uncomplimentary – on obscure Russian-language websites in recent months.
One media analyst commented: ‘There seems to be a campaign against her but it is not clear who is behind this.’
One theory is that many reports originate in Ukraine which has had icy relations with Russia since Putin annexed Crimea in 2014.
Alina Kabayeva arrives at the Laureus World Sports Awards at the Mariinsky Concert Hall in St Petersburg in 2008
Alina Kabaeva performs with the ball in the ball event at the 22nd European Rythmic gymnastics championship in Moscow in 2006
Alina Kabaeva attends Legends of Sports, a costumed gymnastic show at Megasport Arena in Moscow in 2016
But the twins report does not fit this theory.
Despite claims that Kabaeva is Russia’s secret first lady and that she has been close to divorced Putin for more than a decade, she seldom makes public appearances.
She has not been seen in public since October last year when she defended her PhD thesis into training pre-school children in rhythmic gymnastics.
Unusually she was not seen on her birthday – 12 May – but gymnasts she mentors sent her a message wishing her ‘happiness, health and success in your private life’.
Her close confidante ex-coach Irina Viner, wife of billionaire Alisher Usmanov, a former shareholder at Arsenal FC, sent her own video message to ‘the beautiful, intelligent, kind, decent, caring and vivacious woman you are’ hoping ‘your stunning angelic Hollywood smile always shines on your face’
Alina Kabaeva presents an award at a competition in Pesaro, Italy (left) and on the red carpet in St Petersburg (right)
Alina Kabaeva performs her silver medal rope routine in 1998 at the Goodwill Games in Long Island, New York
In recent years Kabaeva has repeatedly denied she has children, but this has not stopped whispering in Moscow that she has a hidden family with Putin.
A fact-checking media watchdog claimed the recent Moscow birth was to another woman called Kabaeva – and not the gymnast.
However, social media accounts of this other woman suggest she has not yet given birth.
In other reports one outlet Vista News claimed that Kabaeva in January flew to Switzerland ‘in a rush’ with a three year old boy she allegedly shares with Putin.
This referred to unconfirmed reports in 2015 that she had given birth in a Swiss clinic.
Other reports frequently allege Kabaeva – like Putin – has undergone facelifts and other plastic surgery.
There are also claims she uses private jets and has a fleet of Maybach limousines at her disposal along with a large security retinue.
The champion athlete the World Cup rythmic gymnastics finals in Moscow in 2004 (left) and at the European Rythmic gymnastics championship in Moscow in 2006 (right)
Alina Kabayeva runs with the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in 2014
Alina Kabaeva and pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva cheer on the men’s ice hockey team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014
Last year a journalist from Life News – part of Kabaeva’s media empire – demanded of 66-year-old divorcee Putin at his annual televised press conference in Moscow: ‘When will you get married? And with whom?’
Putin smiled and replied: ‘As a decent person I will have to do this sooner or later.’
One journalist Dmitry Kolezev – noting Kabaeva’s link to Life – said: ‘So quite literally this was a question from Alina. Beautifully done.’
Putin divorced former wife Lyudmila in 2014 after a joint appearance to announce their split.
Since then Kabaeva has appeared several times wearing what seems to be a wedding ring leading to social media memes showing their marriage.
The question of Putin’s love life is usually seen as taboo in Russia.