Some wild rumours about the Russian President Vladimir Putin have been doing the rounds in recent weeks. A Russian Telegram channel, General SVR, has been spreading unverified reports about Putin’s ill health and use of body doubles for a long time, but this all came to a head last month when the channel claimed that the Russian leader had died from a cardiac arrest.
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The channel reported that Putin collapsed in his home on Sunday 22 October, and died some days later on the evening of 26 October. Coincidentally, Alina Kabaeva vanished on the very same day as Putin's alleged cardiac arrest. Kabaeva is a former Olympic gymnast champion and is Putin’s alleged girlfriend. Here’s how she is connected to Putin and when she was last seen.
Alina Kabaeva and Vladimir Putin’s relationship
Kabaeva has been linked to the Russian President for a long time, and is thought to be the mother of two of his children. In the early days of Russia’s war against Ukraine, she was rumoured to be hiding out in Switzerland with their kids.
The pair have seen some tumultuous times over the course of their alleged relationship, with Putin reportedly insisting his girlfriend have an abortion back in 2022. There were also reports earlier this year that the pair were feuding after Putin blamed Kabaeva for leaked details about her lavish lifestyle.
Earlier in October, the former gymnast was very visible in the media as she featured in footage from her Alina Kabaeva Sky Grace Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy in Sochi. This is an elite training base founded by Kabaeva for future sports stars.
When was Kabaeva last seen?
This is where it gets interesting: Kabaeva was last spotted on 22 October. Her academy was holding a Games of Countries tournament and she was seen accompanied by her mentor Irina Viner, the ex-wife of pro-Kremlin oligarch Alisher Usmanov. She was wearing a white jacket and was seen cutting cake to celebrate the success of the competition.
This was the same day that General SVR alleged Putin had suffered a cardiac arrest. Though this is not the first time that Kabaeva has disappeared from public for a while, the alignment of the dates is sparking suspicion as rumours that Putin has been replaced by a body double continue to circulate.
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