War monster Vladimir Putin's lover is rumoured to be retired Russian gymnast Alina Kabaeva.
Kabaeva was dubbed 'Russia's most flexible women' after starring at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games – where she claimed a bronze medal.
Kabaeva returned to Athens in 2004, and she went two better to claim the gold medal. It came after she had earlier been stripped of titles for doping.
Fame followed, and Kabaeva sparked a storm in Russia after posing nude for Maxim, a Russian men's magazine, in 2004.
The photographer for the shoot, Mikhail Korolov, said: “I didn’t even need to persuade her. She behaved very naturally. She’s full of sex.”
Reports soon linked the gymnast to Vladimir Putin – with some even claiming the pair have had children together.
In 2008, a newspaper owned by Putin’s ex-KGB spy colleague Alexander Lebedev made the startling claim that Kabaeva was romantically linked to Putin.
Lebedev quickly shut the paper down, claiming financial difficulties, but a source at the paper claimed the story was true.
Putin was also quick to deny the claims, but more reports were soon to appear suggesting that Kabaeva was pregnant.
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Kabaeva has spoken about the claims on numerous occasions, and in 2014, she hinted: “Everyone should have their own little secrets.”
Before adding: “I hope that someday the gossipers will calm down.”
Putin had been previously married to Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, but the pair were divorced in 2013, where his spokesman said: “Look at Putin’s work. You will see that there is no place for family affairs.”
He also dismissed the claims that Putin was linked to Kabaeva, and put the links down to "an internet exercise to relieve boredom".
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Kabaeva was last seen in public on 11 October 2018, when she spoke about training pre-school children in rhythmic gymnastics at a university in St Petersburg.
There were reports Kabaeva gave birth to twins in April 2019, before she mysteriously vanished before appearing two years later in a video praising Russian athletes.
Shortly after the rumours, Leyla Adamyan, who works at the clinic where Kabaeva allegedly gave birth, was awarded “For Merit to the Fatherland” by Putin, Russia's highest civilian medal.
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