The alleged mistress of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is being pressured by friends to convince him to end the unprovoked and increasingly violent invasion of Ukraine, a new report says.
Putin’s private life has long been off-limits to the world’s press, but he is rumored to have fathered four children with former Olympic gold medalist Alina Kabaeva.
Putin divorced his first wife, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, in 2014, but he has been aggressive in protecting his private life, calling the press “prying.”
Who Is Alina Kabaeva?
Dubbed the “Eva Braun” to Putin’s Hitler, Kabaeva is rumored to be hiding in Switzerland in a heavily guarded compound with the couple’s children and to hold multiple passports under different names.
Kabaeva is one of the world’s most decorated rhythmic gymnasts, hosted a television chat show, and also served for six years as a pro-Kremlin member of Russia’s parliament.
She won a gold in the 2004 Olympics and was a standard-bearer for Russia during the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
She also holds 14 World Championship medals and 21 European Championship medals in the sport — although pressure to strip her of those plaudits due to her alleged connection with Putin has been growing.
Now, a new report citing unnamed friends of Kabaeva’s says her social circle has been begging her to return to Russia to try to end the war, a journey which she has reportedly said might be impossible because of how heavy the security around Putin can be.
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Will Ramped Up Pressure on Putin End the Invasion of Ukraine?
TheStreet reported last week that oligarchs stranded abroad and under increasingly strict international sanctions appeared to have begun asking Putin to end the war, after losing billions in wealth in the three weeks the war has been happening.
But Kabaeva’s intervention might hold more weight, given her allegedly close ties to Putin, and could signal a new stage in the war’s diplomatic process.
However, some Russia watchers have suggested that the idea that Kabaeva may try to advocate for Ukraine is likely only a planted news story coming from her, or Putin’s camp, after an increasingly popular petition that brands her a war criminal begins to draw more public attention.
So far, the petition has more than 50,000 signatures and asks the Swiss government to remove her from the country
Putin is Growing Increasingly More Aggressive Against Russian Doubters
Last Wednesday (March 16), Putin said that he was on guard for any Russians who may try to influence his war effort.
He said “those who earn their money here, but live over there” are seen by the Kremlin as a “fifth column” that will be actively used to “divide our society.”
“I do not judge those with villas in Miami or the French Riviera. Or who can’t get by without oysters or foie gras or so-called ‘gender freedoms.’ The problem is they mentally exist there, and not here, with our people, with Russia,” he said.
“The West will try to bet on the so-called fifth column, on traitors … to divide our society.. to provoke civil confrontation… to strive to achieve its aim. And there is one aim, the destruction of Russia.”
Whether this warning applies to Kabaeva herself remains to be seen. If she is indeed close to Putin and able to speak to him about the unprovoked war and its ongoing effects on Russia’s elite.