The Truth About Vladimir Putin's Love Life

Since invading Ukraine in February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been making headlines more often than usual. Whether he is delegating spokespeople to deny any war crimes in the fallout from the bloodshed in Bucha or investigators are talking about Putin's wealth without a paper trail, it's impossible to escape his name in the news. In a late March 2022 Pew poll, it was clear that Americans overwhelmingly have no confidence that Putin will do the right thing.

Even President Joe Biden has not been shy about his feelings about Putin's actions. "Well the truth of the matter is, you saw what happened in Bucha," Biden said in a speech on April 4, 2022 (via Insider). "He is a war criminal. But we have to gather the information [for a war crime trial]." Putin isn't the only one being called to the task either. While some sanctions are affecting Russia and the Russian people, new ones going specifically to those closely tied to Putin.

So, with so much up in the air around what will happen to Russia as well as Putin, folks might be wondering about the people who love Putin — or have loved him. Although this Russian leader is shrouded in mystery, there are a few things we believe to be true about Putin's love life.

Secrecy around Vladimir Putin's love life

It has always been abundantly clear that Vladimir Putin keeps his private life, and those in it, under lock and key. Still, Roman Badanin wrote for The Washington Post that Putin's secrecy in his love life is actually really detrimental to the Russian people, especially because of the rumor that one of the President's alleged mistresses allegedly got ahold of a suspicious amount of money.

There are "allegations that people in the entourage of Vladimir Putin had channeled tens of millions of dollars to a woman named Svetlana Krivonogikh, alleged to be one of the Russian president's romantic partners — and the mother of one of his children," Badanin wrote. Such vast wealth is a deadly situation for the people of Russia, he added.

Devotion to secrecy appears to be an even more serious consideration for Putin as his war on Ukraine drags on longer than he likely intended, per ABC. Even so, all the time Putin has spent in the public eye in 2022 has put an even brighter spotlight on the lives of those he spends his time with. So, however Putin feels about the world knowing his business, the speculation is there and only continues to grow.

His marriage to Lyudmila Shkrebneva started off on the wrong foot

After dating for nearly four years, Lyudmila Shkrebneva (then ​​Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya) thought Vladimir Putin was dumping her when he proposed. "You know what kind of person I am by now," Shkrebneva explained for the biography "First Person," via the New York Post. "In general, I'm not easygoing. In three and a half years, you have probably made up your mind." We get it, that doesn't exactly sound like a proposal. But, apparently, it was, and the two married in 1983 — the same year he made his low-key proposal.

Putin and Lyudmila supposedly have two daughters together, but that has never been officially confirmed by anyone in the Kremlin. That said, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov may have accidentally confirmed their identities in April 2022. Peskov did not specifically name them as Putin's daughters, though he did say that Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova were being sanctioned by the United States. Those names have long been thought to be the president's daughters.

The BBC pointed out that one of the few times Putin has ever talked about his daughters was in 2015 when he confirmed that they live in Russia, speak three languages and that he is "proud of them." Putin reiterated during that press conference that he never talks about his family, which is a fact he's proven in his time in power.

Vladimir Putin's shocking 2013 divorce

In 2014, Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila told the Russian media that they were divorcing. Putin said at the time that "it was a joint decision: we hardly see each other, each of us has our own life" (via the BBC). The outlet continued by saying that Lyudmila was known for disliking the spotlight and that she and Putin never saw one another anymore because of his workload.

Masha Lipman wrote in The New Yorker that the shocking announcement, made so casually at the ballet prompted by a reporter's oddly personal question, was obviously staged. Especially because, as Lipman points out, the couple was essentially estranged by the time they made their divorce public knowledge.

Now it seems Lyudmila is living her best life at a villa in an undisclosed European location with her new husband, according to The Washington Post. The outlet added that her husband, Artur Ocheretny, is a little more than 20 years younger than she is.

The Russian President has his fair share of alleged infidelities

Very little can ever be confirmed about Vladimir Putin, let alone the women he supposedly took up with. Because of the secrecy he maintains in his life, these alleged infidelities will always be rumors unless they can be confirmed by Putin. Svetlana Krivonogikh, for example, has a daughter named Luiza Rozova online whose real name is Elizaveta Krivonogikh that looks a lot like Putin who may be her father.

Meanwhile, a former Miss Russia, Victoria Lopyreva, may also have been having an affair with Putin at some point as well. In 2018 Putin allegedly helped Lopyreva get her FIFA World Cup ambassadorship after she pushed for his re-election (per Maxim). According to Meaww, Lopyreva is also a model, actress, reality TV star, and Russian television anchor.

Most notably, however, is Putin's longtime rumored relationship with Olympic gymnast Alina Kabaeva. The rumor, never confirmed by the Kremlin but told to various media from insiders, even prompted the shutdown of a Russian website in 2008 (via Newsweek).

His alleged girlfriend Alina Kabaeva was sent into hiding

Likely in anticipation of the fallout of the war on Ukraine, Vladimir Putin allegedly put longtime mistress Alina Kabaeva, as well as their supposed four children, into hiding. An insider told Page Six, "While Putin carries out his assault on Ukraine, attacking innocent citizens and causing a refugee crisis, his family is holed up in a very private and very secure chalet somewhere in Switzerland — for now, at least." Another source told the publication that the couple has a pair of twin girls as well as two boys together that were all born in Switzerland.

Kabaeva has been in control of the National Media Group for some time, but Daily Mail reported that her name has suddenly disappeared from the company's website. Further, the outlet reported that Kabaeva was put as chairman of the NMG board of directors in 2014, even though she has no media or business experience to speak of.

In 2016, she was first spotted wearing what appeared to be a wedding ring though there has never been evidence of her marriage or confirmation that the ring is a wedding ring. She said nothing of her relationship with Putin in the interview where the ring was spotted, or since.

Alina Kabaeva vanished from public life before

The Sun revealed in October 2020 that Alina Kabaeva, long-rumored mistress of Vladimir Putin, seemingly disappeared after being supposedly pregnant with twin boys. She essentially disappeared in 2018. The outlet noted that the Russian media was silent after the story came out, though they did deny Kabaeva's supposed twin boys were born in April 2019. Two years after vanishing from the public eye, Kabaeva allegedly made a statement in May 2021, released by the Russian Gymnastics Federation.

Even Kabaeva's friends didn't hear from her after she dropped out of the public eye, according to Daily Mail. That said, one of her friends was noticing flowers with a card from "Alina" being left at a teammate's mother's grave. That friend told the outlet that she was certain it was Alina leaving them. Kabaeva was seen in a public TV appearance in August 2021, her first in nearly three years condemning the judges from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for not giving Dina Averina a gold medal for rhythmic gymnastics. Putin has always denied allegations of his relationship with Kabaeva.

The pressure put on Alina Kabaeva in regards to Ukraine

In March 2021, a source told Page Six that friends of Vladimir Putin's longtime mistress (perhaps even secret wife) have been asking her to intervene in the war on Ukraine. "Alina [Kabaeva]'s female friends are begging her to fly to Putin and persuade him to end the war," the insider told the outlet. "He doesn't seem to be listening to anybody, but perhaps he might listen to her." The source added that Kabaeva has apparently said she isn't sure she could get past security to even get to Putin at this point.

Over 70,000 people have signed a petition demanding that Kabaeva be expelled from whatever country she is hiding in. The petition title reads: "Please reunite 'Eva Braun' with her 'Führer.'" Fortune notes that Kabaeva is one of Putin's people that hasn't been sanctioned despite her leadership in the state-run media organization. The outlet adds that people are demanding that the Olympic Committee strip Kabaeva of her medals as a sanction going forward.

The Olympic-focused petition reads, in part, "She and other supporters of Putin are no less culpable for terrorizing the innocent people of Ukraine. A so-called mother who is okay with her spouse/lover murdering and bombing innocent people, including babies and children, is not an example of the Olympic ideal. She sits in peace and comfort, whilst innocents die."