VLADIMIR Putin’s alleged mistress has been spotted out for the first time since she was stung by sanctions over the tyrant’s war in Ukraine.
The 39-year-old flew into the city ahead of the key economic forum Putin is using in a bid to save his country from the crippling impact of Western sanctions over his invasion of Ukraine.
Reclusive gold medal winner Alina is suspected to have a secret family with the Kremlin leader, and was seen for the second time in a week amid rumours of his failing health.
She was pictured with grim-faced female companions on a “private tour” of the city’s Mikhail Vrubel in the Russian Museum.
An eyewitness said she was prevented from getting closer to Kabaeva by the women – possibly plain-clothed bodyguards – who were with her, reported Fontanka.
She wore modest jeans, white T-shirt, and a blue jacket thrown over her shoulders while carrying a £4,220 Valentino Roman stud large bag.
Alina is rumoured to have two or three children with Putin, 69, and there has been an unconfirmed claim that she is again pregnant.
Putin was said to be “subdued and withdrawn” over the news, reported General SVR Telegram channel amid claims the Russian leader is suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
She has not commented on the sanctions imposed on her nor her closeness to Putin.
Last week glamorous “secret first lady” Alina was pictured in Sochi with children at a gymnastics training camp, only her second appearance this year.
A former loyalist MP, Alina is now a media mogul, heading a company owning pro-Putin TV channels and newspapers, for which she is paid an estimated £8million a year.
In April, she defied sanctions to wear a £2,000 dress as she hosted a Z-symbol parade in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
And just weeks ago, Putin is reproted to have missed his gymnast lover’s birthday because he had to undergo an operation.
Rumours have continued to swirl about the leader’s alleged ill health amid reports security agents have been forced to collect his stools and urine and deliver them back to Moscow in a “special suitcase”.
The Russian president has several secret service agents assigned for this key task, which is allegedly carried out to conceal information about Vlad’s possible illnesses.
According to a doctor who says they delivered some of Putin’s kids, he has two sons with Alina.
Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung revealed he has two sons by her, with one born in Switzerland in 2015 amid huge security and the other in 2019 in Russia.
But according to reports, he actually has four sons with her who he hid in Switzerland as the war with Ukraine raged on.
The pair have never confirmed how many children they have together.
‘SIGNS HIS HEALTH IS FAILING’
It comes as Putin is due to address the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum this week, despite a boycott by most usual Western participants due to the war in Ukraine.
He hopes to cajole Asian and other non-Western participants into propping up his creaking sanctions-hit economy.
His spokesman accused the West of seeking to disrupt the crucial forum by exerting pressure on foreign representatives not to attend, to punish Putin for the war in Ukraine.
But he admitted there would be “fewer” business figures from the West, and declined to name foreigners expected to attend.
He said: “There will be fewer of them, not because they do not want to, and not because they all made such a decision.”
His spokesman also indicated Russia would later give benefits to those who defied Western pressure and stayed loyal to Russia in its hour of need, he indicated.
Putin was also out and about today presenting Hero of Russia awards – the country’s highest honour – to recipients. The awards were given as the country marked the annual Russia Day.
However, his public appearances are far less common than in previous years.
Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele recently told the BBC: “I don’t see him [Putin] being in power for more than three-six months from now. There are signs his health is failing for a start which will be a factor in this.
“And if what we’re being told by the CIA and others and our own sources is true then it looks as though he could become incapacitated over that sort of period of time.”
“This is a strongman regime where people have to have fear of the leader and if the leader is incapacitated medically then there will be a move against him, I’m sure.”
Russian expert Professor Mark Galeotti said today in The Sunday Times that the “persistence of rumours about his health” may be why Putin is thinking short term about the war in Ukraine.