A rumored longtime lover of Russian President Vladimir Putin was slapped with US sanctions, the Treasury Department announced Tuesday.
The US froze the visa of Alina Kabaeva and imposed other property restrictions on the ex-Olympic gymnast as part of another round of punitive measures taken against more Russian elites in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
Treasury officials noted Kabaeva “has a close relationship with Putin” and is the “head of a pro-Kremlin empire of television, radio, and print organizations.”
She is also a former member of State Duma, which is part of the Federal Assembly of Russia.
“As innocent people suffer from Russia’s illegal war of aggression, Putin’s allies have enriched themselves and funded opulent lifestyles,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said in a statement.
“The Treasury Department will use every tool at our disposal to make sure that Russian elites and the Kremlin’s enablers are held accountable for their complicity in a war that has cost countless lives.
“Together with our allies, the United States will also continue to choke off revenue and equipment underpinning Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine.”
Kabaeva, 39, and Putin, 69, have been suspected lovers since 2008, though the two have never confirmed a relationship. Sources familiar with the matter previously told Page Six the couple shared twin daughters and two sons.
In May, a report from the General SVT Telegram channel claimed Kabaeva was pregnant with her fifth child with Putin. That report could not be independently verified.
Kremlin critics, including Russian rights activist Alexei Navalny, have called for sanctions against Kabaeva, arguing her news outlet prominently accused West commentary of the Feb. 24 invasion of pushing a disinformation campaign.
The UK sanctioned Kabaeva in May and the EU put in place travel and asset restrictions against her in June.
Also swept up in the sanctions was Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev, a wealthy oligarch who owns the 25-bedroom Witanhurst estate, the second largest property in London after Buckingham Palace. His $120 million yacht, the Alfa Nero, was identified as blocked property.
His son Andrey Andreevich Guryev and his son’s Russian investment firm Dzhi AI Invest were also targeted.
Additionally, a Russian steel manufacturer known as MMK, including its board chairman, faced financial penalties. The State Department also reported Tuesday that 893 Russian Federal officials would have their visas blocked.
Putin’s adult daughters Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova and Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova also faced US sanctions in April.
With Post wires