Did This President Secretly Marry His Younger Mistress?

Remem­ber the huge scan­dal involv­ing U.S. pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton and his younger mis­tress, Mon­ica Lewin­sky? Well, it looks like his­tory may be repeat­ing itself; only this time, it’s Russia’s pres­i­dent, Vladimir Putin, and the scan­dal is about more than just an illicit relationship.

Putin and his wife for­mally announced their divorce in June 2013, claim­ing that his busy time in office is what led to the dis­so­lu­tion of their 30-year mar­riage. How­ever, Putin has been dodg­ing rumors for years that he had an affair with for­mer Olympian gym­nast, Alina Kabaeva, who is lit­er­ally half his age, con­sid­er­ing their 31-year age dif­fer­ence. Putin has adamantly dis­puted these affair rumors, and even had one Russ­ian tabloid shut down in 2008 for report­ing a story about the pres­i­dent mar­ry­ing his alleged mistress.

Five years have passed since then, but the scan­dal is still alive and well, with new rumors sur­fac­ing that Putin and Kabaeva did, in fact, secretly get mar­ried ear­lier this month. The mar­riage rumor was sparked by some­one who tweeted, “Putin and Kabaeva are being crowned,” after sev­eral roads around a monastery were blocked by fed­eral guards (“Being crowned” is a ref­er­ence to a Russ­ian wed­ding tra­di­tion.). The tweet was then retweeted by a Russ­ian oppo­si­tion leader with a sig­nif­i­cantly large num­ber of fol­low­ers on Twit­ter, caus­ing the news to go viral.

Putin, almost 61 now, is once again try­ing to deny his rela­tion­ship with 30-year-old Kabaeva—well, sort of. “It’s his deci­sion and he’s not obliged to talk about his per­sonal life,” said the president’s spokesman. “You and I voted for the pres­i­dent at the elec­tions, so let’s pay atten­tion to what kind of pres­i­dent he is. And what kind of bloke he is, whether he has a wife or not, let’s leave that up to him.”

Mean­while, Kabaeva has yet to make any com­ment about her sus­pected mar­riage to Putin.


Gorst, I., “Krem­lin denies Putin has wed for­mer Olympian,” The Irish Times web site, Sep­tem­ber 26, 2013; http://goo.gl/wpHynS.

Oliphant, R., “‘Putin and Kabayeva are crowned’: Guard’s remark sug­gests Russ­ian pres­i­dent has mar­ried his mis­tress,” National Post web site, Sep­tem­ber 26, 2013; http://goo.gl/rk5Bff.

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