Magazine article Newsweek

The New Mrs. Putin?

Magazine article Newsweek

The New Mrs. Putin?

Article excerpt

Byline: Anna Nemtsova

After the Russian president and his wife announced their divorce last week, signs point to a growing role for Putin's rumored mistress.

The timing certainly seemed suspicious--days before Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila Putina, announced their divorce in a painfully clumsy televised interview, the state's main television station broadcast a documentary paean to a beauty named Alina Kabaeva. A onetime Olympic gold-medal champion in rhythmic gymnastics and a parliamentary deputy in Russia's Duma, Kabaeva has long been rumored to be Putin's official mistress. The documentary, and its timing, seemed to confirm Kabaeva's ascent--the hourlong film portrayed her as Russia's queen, its main heroine, and a shining example for all modern Russian women. It praised Kabaeva for her feminine qualities, patriotism, and strong character, and for being a good example for little gymnasts, Russia's future champions.

The former gymnast did not look as slim as when she could amaze entire stadiums with her flying jumps or her famous human knot; she did not look as smooth as in the Playboy photos published soon after the world first heard rumors of her secret romance with the Russian leader. But she still had her charming, open smile and a penetrating, firm gaze underneath her thick dark eyebrows. The documentary even trotted out Valentina Tereshkova, once Russia's most famous woman as the first female astronaut in space and a fellow parliamentarian, who described Kabaeva as "a totally solid personality. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.