Has Alina Kabaeva given birth to Putin’s son?

Now here’s an interesting rumour circulating around the Russian language blogs – 26 year old Russian Olympic gymnast turned Duma Deputy Alina Kabaeva has just given birth to Vladimir Putin’s son.

Kabaeva, if you recall, was the Russian beauty who alleged to have secretly married Putin last year. The story captured headlines all over the world, and – unsurprisingly – made Putin very very cross. Aleksandr Lebedev, the billionaire owner of Moskovsky Korrespondent, the newspaper that broke the story, was hauled over the coals by Putin, forced to retract the story, and closed the newspaper down within months.

(Naturally, we all know that Putin, a balding man in his 50s, was secretly delighted to be linked romantically with a flexible young Russian gymnast, regardless of whether the story was true or not.)

alina-kabaevaAdding fuel to the rumour fire is that not a single one of the major Russian news agencies have mentioned the birth. I suppose that it is possible that nobody in Russia thinks this is newsworthy, but more likely, they saw what happened to the last newspaper to break a story about Putin’s love life and decided that they’d quite like to stay in business.

But, whatever the reason, it’s raised eyebrows. As Russia! Magazine’s Blah Blah blog notes / pleads:

“The most puzzling part of this story is that at press time not a single major Russian media has reported that Kabaeva had a son. Come on, Channel One Russia and The Moscow Times, say something! Or else the bloggers are starting to look very convincing.”

A few (a very few!) internet only publications are covering the story. But even they are nervous. Take this story from Rupor.info, for example. They’ve noticed that Express Gazeta posted a small story about the birth, then quickly withdrew it.

ruporinfo

Want more fuel to add to the fire? How about this?

Putin and his (official) wife Ludmilla haven’t been seen out together in public for more than a year. Most strikingly at this Easter’s publicly televised TV service, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stood with his wife Svetlana, but Putin stood alone.

Until last week, that is – the two ventured out for a very public meeting with the newly appointed Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Kiril.

Putin-Ludmilla-Kiril-Patriarch

The question on Russian bloggers minds is, why would one bring one’s (official) aged wife out of semi-retirement at exactly the same time as one’s (alleged!) wife has just given birth to a bouncing baby boy?

Is it because Putin wants deflect rumours about his alleged illegitimate son and represent himself as a stable, long-married family man, respectable enough to be elected again as Russia’s President in a few years time?

Update 27 May 2009: Kabaeva has posted an update on her blog categorically denying that she has given birth. Which kind of rules out the prospect of Putin bouncing a bonny baby boy on his knee any time soon…

“About rumors

Dear friends! I don’t normally comment rumors, but this time I’ve decided to make an exception. The reason being I cannot leave unanswered many warm words and wishes … On my site in the section “My life” I promised to tell about most important events in my life, about my family. Hence, when I become a mother (which hasn’t happen yet), I will certainly write about it. At any rate – I thank all those who congratulated me and showed their concern. Just for you I have compromised my principle: never to pay any attention to rumors.”

Translation courtesy of The Russian President, a reliable friend of Prime Minister Putin ;-)

Comments

  1. poemless

    Ack. No one will comment, and then you’ll get the idea no one enjoys such stories, and then you won’t post another such story. Now I have to leave a comment!

    Lurid, this is all very lurid… Almost as lurid as Papa Silvio’s villa of underage girls.

    I have a question: How can people who are such a control freaks and who can wield so much power end up with unplanned offspring? I have to say, I’ve never quite understood this. I mean, this *is* something one usually can control, and still have a good time even. Of course, that’s assuming this story is true. And that it was not planned. But who the hell plans a child with someone while remaining married to another? And one can’t possibly be starting a second family out of wedlock (because one is still in wedlock with another) AND planning to run for President. Can they? John Edwards, would you like to comment?

    I think all of this is tedious. Who cares? I know that there is an image at stake, but so long as the economy is doing well, and people feel they are better off, do they really care if their President is a saint or not? And if the economy is tanking and people feel they are worse off, is the President’s marital fidelity going to make a difference? I suppose it does for some…

    Uhm, so, after asking “who cares?” I guess the answer is “me”. I went on the record applauding this possibly not even real tryst. :) Why not? It’s a bit sadistic to lavish someone with perverse amounts of power and popularity and then demand them to reject all of the temptation that comes along with it.

    BTW, here’s a fun read for those who like works in the horror genre: “At home with the Putins.”

  2. Party Pooper

    “I suppose that it is possible that nobody in Russia thinks this is newsworthy, but more likely, they saw what happened to the last newspaper to break a story about Putin’s love life and decided that they’d quite like to stay in business.”

    ———-

    AK and/or father (whoever he might be) might not want this matter publicized for whatever reason. This could be true regardless of who the father is.

    This topic is a stretch and similar to the recent feature on kids dressed as adults.

  3. poemless

    I’m pretty sure that if there is ever anything not covered in the Russian media, it’s because there is a very high-level conspiracy to cover it up because it is a threat to someone at the very top. I’m pretty sure that’s day one of “Russian media history and criticism 101″ offered at wherever journalists get their degrees these days.

  4. Andy

    Thanks Poemless, but don’t worry – I think I’ll probably keep posting stuff regardless of whether people comment or not – this is at heart a personal blog, so I pick the stuff that interests me. Sometimes its lurid gossip, sometimes its democratic prospects, sometimes its arms trading. But it has to be said, lurid gossip is what usually draws the most readers – this post has already pulled in more unique visitors than the rest of Siberian Light usually does in a week.

    By the way – I’m with you on the ‘who really cares’ angle. It makes a great gossipy story but so long as Putin does a good job leading the country, who really cares. Although, some would question whether he actually runs Russia very well…

    @Party Pooper – it may well be that AK is a modern independent woman who simply doesn’t want to reveal the name of the father, it may be that the father is someone else who wouldn’t want the news to come out. But, given the rumours about their relationship from last year, it’s hardly surprising that bloggers have put two and two together and come up with the spawn of Putin.

  5. Chris

    “Adding fuel to the rumour fire is that not a single one of the major Russian news agencies have mentioned the birth. I suppose that it is possible that nobody in Russia thinks this is newsworthy, but more likely, they saw what happened to the last newspaper to break a story about Putin’s love life”

    How about, nobody reported the birth because the birth never happened, but is rather complete fabrication? The same reason nobody reported on Putin’s abduction by Martians late last year, or his discovery of a passage to a wild, untamed land inhabited by dinosaurs that exists within the Earth’s crust.

  6. Andy

    “nobody reported on Putin’s abduction by Martians late last year, or his discovery of a passage to a wild, untamed land inhabited by dinosaurs that exists within the Earth’s crust.”

    Good point – I should write a post about it immediately. The second would do wonders for Putin’s image. Not sure so much about the first, though – might raise some unseemly questions about Putin’s slightly grey skin tone…

  7. Andy

    Thanks RP – I’ve posted an update.

    Of course, you realize that it’s not too soon to rule out the theory that Putin’s Martian overlords replaced Kabaeva with her identical twin for the duration of the pregnancy… ;-)

  8. Chris

    “Of course, you realize that it’s not too soon to rule out the theory that Putin’s Martian overlords replaced Kabaeva with her identical twin for the duration of the pregnancy…”

    News that all media will be too terrified to discuss!

  9. Pingback: Kabaeva delivered a baby, refuses to name the father - The Moscow Expat Forums

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  12. Sublime Oblivion

    “How can people who are such a control freaks and who can wield so much power end up with unplanned offspring?…But who the hell plans a child with someone while remaining married to another? And one can’t possibly be starting a second family out of wedlock (because one is still in wedlock with another) AND planning to run for President. Can they?” – poemless

    Consult the history of the French Presidency. :)

    Sublime Oblivion´s last blog post..Kremlin Dreams Sometimes Come True

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