Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine war is going so terribly that even North Korea dropped him like a scalding hot potato regarding their previous offer for some (non-military) manpower. The Russian president is apparently very sensitive about reports that he’s been hiding in a bunker, and he’s so seldom seen that Ukranian President Zelensky wondered aloud if Putin was actually dead with the Kremlin doing the green screen thing. Putin then had to offer proof of life (while wearing lifts to look more macho), and all of that hasn’t helped matters. Also in the mix: his longtime rumored girlfriend, decorated Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva, has now broken her silence on the war.
Granted, yes, Putin is married, and he’s been married to Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya since 1983, but as you can see in the above photo (from 2001), he actually cracked a rare smile when presenting flowers to Alina. Her rhythmic gymnastic routines were awe-inspiring, but Alina no longer lives in Russia, although she’s reportedly been Putin’s girlfriend for at least a decade. They also allegedly share at least three children, with whom she now apparently lives in Switzerland. To add more support to all of those reports, consider that the U.S. sanctioned Alina last fall. Well, she’s stayed fairly quiet since the start of the war, but via Newsweek, she’s now urging Russian State media to support Putin’s warmongering:
“Our people need this success because information work today in the conditions in which we live and fight for our country is like a weapon of war,” Kabaeva told attendees, according to a translation in a video circulating online. “It is as important as the Kalashnikov assault rifle. And war correspondents know this. Let’s work.”
Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian minister of internal affairs, was among those posting the video on Twitter. He referred to her as “Putin’s alleged lover.”
As Newsweek points out, Alina made these remarks at an event held by the National Media Group, for which she serves as the board of directors chair. You can watch the clip (posted by Anton Gerashchenko on Twitter) below, and it seems as though Alina is supporting Putin all the way. For the record, she’s 39 years old, whereas Putin is 69. He’s got some Leo DiCaprio in him, alright.
Putin's alleged lover, Alina Kabaeva, said that Russian media is a weapon of war, equal in importance to Kalashnikov rifle. pic.twitter.com/A5ZNrhN5rf
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) February 6, 2023