As Russian President Vladimir Putin has not been seen in public lately, a Swiss tabloid claims that his alleged girlfriend Alina Kabaeva has given birth to the couple’s third child.
The Kremlin immediately denied the rumor as a “hoax”.
Rumors about the absence of Vladimir Putin from the public view went into overdrive on March 13 as the Kremlin released new footage of the president and also announced that he will meet the president of Kyrgyzstan on March 16.
On March 12, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov fended off suggestions that the president has been out of the spotlight due to illness, something he dismissed by saying “no need to worry, everything is all right,” and joking that the president’s handshake was still so strong it could “break your hand”.
Vladimir Putin has not been seen in public since a March 5 meeting with Italian PM Matteo Renzi.
According to the Blick , Switzerland’s oldest tabloid, Vladimir Putin has been out of sight not because of his own ill health – but because his supposed girlfriend, former Olympic rhythmic gymnast and current chairwoman of the National Media Group, Alina Kabaeva, gave birth to the couple’s daughter in Ticino.
The Blick report says many cars with Russian license plates have been seen outside a regional hospital in the past few days, and that Vladimir Putin is friends with a gynecologist who works there. It further claims that this is actually Vladimir Putin and Alina Kabaeva’s third child- following a son in 2009 and another daughter in 2012.
President Vladimir Putin, 62, already has two daughters with his ex-wife, Lyudmila Shkrebneva Putina, though little is known about them and the Kremlin has never published a family portrait.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quick to dismiss the rumors, saying that its “not true” and referred to the story as a “hoax”, AFP reported.
This is not the first time Vladimir Putin and Alina Kabaeva, 31, have been linked. In 2008, Russian media announced that the two were engaged to be married, despite Putin still being married to his now ex-wife Lyudmila Shkrebneva. Vladimir Putin denied it as “nonsense”.
Rumors swirled about a wedding again in 2013, after Vladimir Putin was divorced. The official Kremlin comment at that time was any talk of a wedding was a private matter for President Vladimir Putin to announce.