Rumours have circulated for years that Alina Kabaeva, an alleged mistress and possible wife of Vladimir Putin, could have spent time in Switzerland with a number of children potentially fathered by the Russian president. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the rumours have resurfaced.
The latest rumours centre on unverified reports that Kabaeva and her children are hiding in a high-security chalet somewhere in Switzerland, possibly Ticino. However, the presence of Kabaeva, a former champion rhythmic gymnast, cannot be verified.
Concerned about the impact the claims might have on the image of Switzerland, a nation that has followed the EU in imposing economic sanctions on Russia, Switzerland’s federal government has been working to get to the bottom of the speculation, according to Swiss broadcaster RTS.
Switzerland’s Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) told RTS that necessary checks have been done and there is no indication of the presence of this individual in Switzerland.
Rumours of Kabaeva’s presence in Switzerland gained traction in early March 2015 when the former gymnast allegedly gave birth to a child in Clinica Sant’Anna in Lugano in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. Vladimir Putin was rumoured to be the father of this child.
However, there were conflicting versions of the story. Various local media, including Corriere del Ticino announced the birth of a girl, while a since-deleted Twitter account in the name of Alina Kabaeva, possibly real, possibly fake, announced the arrival of a boy.
The newspaper Blick reported that Putin might have accompanied Kabaeva and possibly stayed in the clinic with her. In addition, Putin was not seen publicly for a period after 5 March, adding weight to this theory.
Other accounts have suggested Kabaeva gave birth to twins.
In any case, the Kremlin denied that Putin was the father of this rumoured child or any others.
It seems the whereabouts of Kabaeva and her children and the identity of their father remain shrouded in mystery.