Staff Reporter Times co,za:Apr 18, 2008
A recent issue of Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper claims that Russia’s outgoing 57-year-old President Vladimir Putin is to marry a girl 30 years his junior.
The newspaper wrote that Putin secretly divorced his wife, Lyudmila Putin, in February . La Repubblica said that Putin would remarry on June 15 .
His new bride? Alina Kabaeva, 24, the rhythmic gymnast who won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and numerous European awards, the newspaper said.
Kabaeva’s press secretary denied the rumours.
According to the newspaper, “Russians consider Kabaeva to be sexier than Sharapova and Kournikova.” After the Olympic Games in Athens Kabaeva gave up sport and decided to try her hand at cinema.
According to the newspaper, “Putin divorced his wife in a St. Petersburg registry office.” The only disclaimer was voiced by Kabaeva’s press secretary, but it sounded so unconvincing as if it had been motivated by fear to unlock some mystery, since Putin still remains the most powerful personality in Russia.
The newspaper concluded that Putin’s plan concerning Kabaeva had been implemented long ago: Kabaeva became deputy head of the State Duma Committee on Youth Affairs and chaired the supervisory board of the National Media Group - Russia’s new media-holding owned by Yury Kovalchuk, who is a close friend of Putin’s. she was elected to the Duma - the Russian parliament - in elections in December 2007 as one of ’Putin’s babes’, four former athletes turned topless models who become deputies.
It was not incidental that Russia’s state-run TV channels and newspapers highlighted the story of Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni – their story is similar.
Russian, Italian and French blogs have been inundated with comments on the allegedly forthcoming wedding of Putin and Kabaeva, Moskovsky Correspondent newspaper wrote with reference to a Moscow-based company that specializes in organizing solemn events. A tender for organizing this wedding has been reportedly announced. The wedding is due on June 15.