The US deliberately avoided sanctioning Vladimir Putin’s alleged mistress at the 11th hour over fears doing so would further inflame tensions with Russia.
Alina Kabaeva, 39, is a former Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics, cover model for Russian Vogue and believed to be 70 year-old Putin’s mistress by Washington insiders.
She was in the sights of the US Treasury Department in the wake of her rumored lover’s invasion of Ukraine in February – but dodged sanctions at the 11th hour after the National Security Council intervened, the Wall Street Journal reported.
But officials in Washington believed that sanctioning Kabaeva would be such a ‘personal’ attack on Putin that tensions between Russia and the west could escalate even further.
She is said to have borne three children to the Russian leader, and grown wealthy thanks to her links to him – meaning she was a prime target for US sanctions after Putin invaded Ukraine in February.
The lack of sanctions are despite the belief that American officials believe Kabaeva has a hand in hiding Putin’s wealth overseas. Government officials told the Wall Street Journal she remains a potential target of sanctions.
Alina Kabaeva (pictured right), 39, is a former Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics, cover model for Russian Vogue and believed to be Putin’s girlfriend by Washington insiders
A lack of sanctions are despite the belief that American officials believe Kabaeva has a hand in hiding Putin’s wealth overseas
Officials in Washington apparently believe that sanctioning Kabaeva would be such a ‘personal’ attack on Putin that tensions between Russia and the west could escalate even further
‘We have prepared sanctions on a number of people who haven’t yet been sanctioned, and we continue to think about when to impose those sanctions for maximum impact,’ an official said.
Moscow has always denied that there is any relationship between Putin and Kabaeva and she has denied it herself.
Putin is portrayed in state media in Russia as living a life akin to a priest, dedicating himself to public servant. He has two known daughters, 36 and 35, from a previous marriage.
Kabaeva appeared at a rhythmic gymnastics performance in Moscow Saturday and showed support for the war efforts.
America has accused Kabaeva and her family of getting rich off the connection to Putin and an investigation by US intelligence into the 2016 election names her as a beneficiary of Putin’s money.
Kabaeva pictured at the rehearsal of her sports festival Alina 2022 in VTB Arena, Moscow.Pictured with Daria Trubnikova, youth Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics
Kabaeva appeared at a rhythmic gymnastics performance in Moscow Saturday and showed support for the war efforts
Alina Kabaeva shakes hands with Vladimir Putin during a meeting with other gymnasts in Kremlin
Alexei Navalny, the jailed Russian opposition leaders, implored American lawmakers to impose sanctions on Kabaeva on April 6, arguing she was helping Putin hide his money.
The Ukrainian government has also asked western nations to sanction Kabaeva and Switzerland to ban her from the country, where she is often spotted. The Swiss government has denied knowledge Kabaeva was in their country.
A Russian newspaper first reported an engagement between Putin and Kabaeva in 2008. It was shut down days later after Putin’s denial of the story.
Kabaeva and her family have purchased two houses, half a dozen apartment and several acres of land since 2013.
Officials in the United States, Switzerland and the European Union said that Kabaeva gave birth to Putin’s child in 2015 in Switzerland. A Putin spokesman denied the story.
She also gave birth to twins in 2019, according to Washington.
Source: Daily Mail