Vladimir Putin’s ‘secret lover’ makes rare public appearance

Alina Kabaeva avoided any mention of the war in Ukraine during her speech in Sochi (Picture: EAST2WEST NEWS)

Vladimir Putin’s ‘secret lover’ has made a rare public appearance to open a new gymnastics training centre in Russia.

Alina Kabaeva avoided all mention of the war in Ukraine or on the Kremlin leader’s rumoured declining health.

The gold-medal winning Olympic star, 39, has been seen less than half a dozen times this year.

Kabaeva is believed to have a hidden family – including three sons – with Putin.

But the Russian public has never been told of her rumoured position as secret first lady.

Opening a new complex in Sochi this weekend, Kabaeva avoided mention of Putin, 70, amid claims he had slipped on the stairs of his Moscow residence, and is suffering from cancer and other health problems.

She also made no direct reference to his war in Ukraine in which 100,000-plus Russians are believed to have been killed or injured.

Instead she told gymnasts at the Divine Grace international tournament that the ‘impossible is possible’ during a speech.

President Vladimir Putin speaks with gymnast Alina Kabaeva at a Kremlin banquet in 2004 (Picture: AP)

‘When I was in gymnastics, and an athlete, I could not even dream of such conditions [as you have in this new sports training centre],” she said.

‘But as life shows, the impossible is possible.

‘And Russia is a country of big opportunities.’

The Moscow state media are not permitted to discuss her 15-year relationship with Putin nor the children they are rumoured to share.

The pair have been linked for years – but the Kremlin has never confirmed their alleged relationship (Picture: Kremlin.ru)

The last time Russia’s undisclosed first lady was seen in public was in September.

Russian showbiz outlet Starhit described her as looking ‘slimmed down, with an elegantly shaped face’ – possibly alluding to the plastic surgery that both she and Putin are rumoured to undergo.

Kabaeva has no official role in Russia.

The 39-year-old supervised the new sports complex which is shaped like a gymnastic hoop.

Alina Kabaeva is an Olympic medal winning gymnast (Picture: AP)

Kabaeva’s alleged lover Putin is well-known for despising questions about his personal life.

He previously said he deplored ‘those who with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies prowl into others’ lives.

He has two other adult daughters – Maria, 36, and Katerina, 35, from his first marriage to former flight attendant Lyudmila Shkrebneva.

Another rumoured connection is the teenager Luiza Rozova, whose millionaire mum Svetlana Krivonogikh was linked with Putin in the nineties.

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