• Kabaeva is one of the directors of the National Media Group
  • She reportedly earned over 785 million rubles after joining the group
  •  Kabaeva is thought to be hiding in a luxury villa in Switzerland

In a curious turn of events, a photograph and details of Alina Kabaeva, Putin's alleged lover, have been removed from the website of the media empire she helms. Kabaeva, a former Olympic medal-winning gymnast and pro-Kremlin MP, is said to be Vladimir Putin's mistress.

Kabaeva is currently one of the directors of National Media Group (NMG), which includes Channel One, Channel 5, REN TV and STS channels. However, a photograph of Kabaeva and her details have now vanished from the website, where she was earlier featured in the section "Board of Directors," reported Radio Svoboda, a Russian language news portal under the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

This came as calls seeking sanctions against Russian state media and their leadership, including Alina Kabaeva, began doing rounds. Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny too took to Twitter seeking sanctions against the media house. "I would also like to remind you that the National Media Group, which owns the lion’s share of this lie machine, no doubt belongs to Putin personally, which is why it is even formally headed by Putin’s mistress Alina Kabaeva," his tweet read.

Recently, Maria Pevchikh, a Russian investigative journalist and head of the investigative unit of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, also leveled allegations against Kabaeva. In a tweet, Pevchikh said Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich had sold his shares to "Putin’s best buddy Yury Kovalchuk and the National Media Group, whose chairwoman just so happens to be Putin’s gymnast mistress Alina Kabaeva."

Kabaeva's name began doing rounds again after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Many western publications have also stated that Putin could be the father of Kabaeva's children and the couple had secretly married. Though there was no official confirmation in this regard, after Putin awarded obstetrician-gynecologist Leyla Adamyan with the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, II degree, there were reports that the doctor helped with Kabaeva's childbirth.

Besides, Adamyan also bought real estate worth more than a billion rubles in Moscow, and the purchase coincided with the pregnancy and childbirth of Kabaeva. Shortly before this, Kabaeva joined the board of directors of the National Media Group, co-owned by businessmen from Putin's inner circle. In one year of work in the holding, Kabaeva earned 785 million 400 thousand rubles, Radio Svoboda added.

Currently, Kabaeva is thought to be hiding in a luxury villa in Switzerland. Putin's opponents are demanding that she be expelled and asking Swiss authorities to investigate her possible presence in the country.

Alina Kabaeva
Russian President Vladimir pictured with his alleged girlfriend, former gymnast Alina Kabaeva, at a Russian Olympic team meeting in Moscow, November 4, 2004. Reuters