Vladimir Putin is reportedly furious at his secret lover’s friends for leaking news about their extravagant lifestyle.
Olympic gold-medallist Alina Kabaeva, 39, is widely believed to be the Russian President’s secret girlfriend and the mother of the pair’s children.
She was first linked romantically to Putin in 2008 when she was a pro-Kremlin MP by a newspaper that was rapidly closed down after printing the story.
But despite Putin’s efforts to keep their relationship and personal lives secret, it appears word continues to travel about their romance and the jaw-dropping luxury they enjoy behind closed doors.
Often termed the “Empress of Russia”, Kabaeva is considered to be spoiled beyond comprehension because she gave the Russian leader the male heir no girlfriend or wife before her did.
And now, an investigation by independent anti-Putin investigative team Proekt has exposed more of their royal secrets — a story an angry Putin is believed to blame on his wife’s friends, the Daily Mail reports.
The peek behind the scenes of the couple’s life reveals Kabaeva has her own forest-engulfed “golden mansion” between Moscow and St Petersburg, where a nearby Pantsir air defence system guards her and her children. It is believed she and Putin share between two and four kids — potentially including twins.
While the Proekt report declines to reveal the exact ages and names of their children, which it claims to know, it makes clear at least one is a boy.
Near the 28-hectare forest estate at Valdai reportedly lies Putin’s own “royal residence” along with a number of other VIP estates.
As a thank you for providing him the heir, the investigation claims, Putin rewarded his lover with a Black Sea hideaway in sea-and-ski resort Sochi.
If that was not enough, Kabaeva was reportedly gifted more than 20 mansions and flats, filled with the typical Russian-elite glam of mahogany, marble, leather and gold.
She reportedly has a fleet of Maybach limousines at her disposal, and has been surrounded by a squad of machinegun-toting security guards on visits to a Moscow cafe.
Given Putin is notoriously tight-lipped about his private life, it is not surprising “no one had ever seen the President so furious” when he learned his glamorous life with Kabaeva had been leaked.
But what boiled his blood even further, the Daily Mail reports, was his belief that the leak came from within his treasured empress’ circle.
According to General SVR, an account on the encrypted platform Telegram, Putin said her friends “talk on every corner about everything they know and don’t know”.
“Putin said that he had 100 per cent information that the leak came from Kabaeva’s circle of friends,” the channel reported.
Anger over the leak reportedly caused a bitter argument between Putin and Kabaeva.
The 70-year-old president famously deplored “those who with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies prowl into others’ lives” when he announced his divorce from wife Lyudmila in 2013, adding, “I have a private life in which I do not permit interference. It must be respected.”
The former Aeroflot air stewardess had two daughters with Putin, before their strained marriage ended in 2014.
In 2003, Putin’s ex-lover Svetlana Krivonogikh — a cleaner-turned-multi-millionaire — gave birth to a girl named Elizaveta. Five years later, her relationship with Putin reportedly fizzled out.
So it is believed Putin is over the moon with Kabaeva for her providing him with the son and future heir he has always wanted.
But their 15-year relationship was officially denied from the start — and nothing has changed.
Media mogul Kabaeva, who controls a significant segment of the pro-Kremlin Moscow media, is estimated to earn almost £8 million ($14m) a year, compared with the average annual figure of £5600 ($9880).
She chairs the board of directors for the Kremlin-backed TV and newspaper giant National Media Group (NMG).
Kabaeva is on record as saying she had met a man who “I love very much”, gushing, “Sometimes you feel so happy that you even feel scared”.
In 2001, Kabaeva was temporarily banned from competing in rhythmic gymnastics after failing a doping test.
A year earlier she had won gold at the 2000 summer Olympics.
Once regarded as Russia’s most eligible woman, her only other suitor has been a married Georgian policeman, according to media reports.
This relationship petered out in 2005 amid complaints of tabloid intrusion into her life.
She once posed partially naked for Maxim and was described as “full of sex” by a photographer.
Many Russians saw her as the reason for the break-up of Putin’s marriage to ex-first lady Lyudmila, 63.
From 2018 she disappeared from the public eye for almost three years, amid suspicions she had given birth to twins at a Moscow hospital.