Tatyana Bokova-Foley

Alina Kabaeva, Rumored to Have an Affair with Vladimir Putin, Gives Birth To Son

Russian Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics Alina Kabaeva, who was rumored to have an affair with President Vladimir Putin, gave birth to son in Moscow earlier this week. Russian media kept conspicuously quiet about Kabaeva's pregnancy and personal life.

Not only it did not report who the farther of the child is, but it barely covered the Kabaeva is the last nine months. Russian bloggers almost unanimously declared Vladimir Putin the father, noting that otherwise the news about Kabaeva's child would be on the front pages of the newspapers.

Last year, President Putin bluntly denied the rumors that he divorced his wife Ludmila to marry the 25-year-old gymnast. Moskovsky Korrespondent, the newspaper that first reported the news, was immediately shut down by its owner, Alexander Lebedev (who, incidentally, later bought The Evening Standard.) The ousted editor of Moskovsky Korrespondent said in one of the interviews that the rumor about the affair was not true and was made up by the newspaper staff in an effort to boost the paper's ratings, while another editor said that "they had an insider tip and they reported it."

After retiring from gymnastics in 2006, Alina Kabaeva, the most successful Russian rhythmic gymnast to date and one of the most decorated gymnasts in history with 18 World Championship medals and 2 Olympic medals, was selected to the State Parliament by United Russia, a political party controlled by Vladimir Putin. She has been active in promoting sports and education among children. Kabaeva was voted one of the most beautiful women in Russia in 2005 and 2006.

The most puzzling part of this story is that at press time not a single major Russian media has reported that Kabaeva had a son. Come on, Channel One Russia and The Moscow Times, say something! Or else the bloggers are starting to look very convincing.

Putin Denies Reports of Divorce; Newspaper Suspended [New York TImes]

Kabaeva's 2000 Sydney Olympic Video Profile

Image via Maxim Magazine-Russia

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