A few weeks ago, Vladimir Putin’s alleged long-term girlfriend, Alina Kabaeva, made headlines for breaking her silence on his Ukraine war. Granted, where there’s one alleged girlfriend, there’s often more in the mix (and this is reportedly the case), but Alina appears to be the longest-standing of the reported bunch. The decorated Olympic rhythmic gymnast appears to share at least three children with Putin even though he’s been wed (to Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya) since the early 1980s.
Yet Putin began to crack rare smiles in public (as seen in the above photo) when he appeared alongside Alina in conjunction with her athletic endeavors, way back in 2001. More support for these reports can be found in the U.S. seeing fit to sanction Alina in Fall 2022, and it’s been rumored that she spends lots of time in Switzerland. However, The Daily Beast now points towards evidence that Alina has been secretly still living in Russia and at quite a cost.
Via the Organized Crime And Corruption Reporting Project, Putin has been funding Alina’s lavish lifestyle, which includes four apartments purchased with a “secret fund.” Here’s more from The Daily Beast:
The fund, tied to a Cypriot company Ermira and related entities, purchased four apartments in the fall of 2011 in Sochi at the direction of Kabaeva. Kabaeva allegedly instructed the fund to register the apartments in other people’s names. One $15 million penthouse is a whopping 2,600 square meter apartment with a swimming pool, a movie theater, and even its own helipad. The Project also obtained images inside of Putin’s Valdai residence, which show sweeping ceilings and ruby-encrusted chandeliers.
According to the OCCRP, Putin nabbed some of this money by funneling profits from the Putinka vodka brand, but it’s happened through “trademark transfers,” so who knows how shady that part of the funding could be.
The OCCRP also previously reported upon Putin’s secret railway that he reportedly constructed before invading Ukraine. As if that wasn’t enough, the $15 million penthouse appears to be the biggest apartment (according to the U.K.’s The Times) in all of Russia. There’s little reason to believe that Alina (who is 39 while Putin is 69) funds these purchases on her own, especially since advocating for journalism seems to be her main gig, but perhaps we’ll see more from the OCCRP on this (alleged) matter.
(Via The Daily Beast, OCCRP.org & The Times)