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Friday, March 31, 2023

In Putin’s $15 million penthouse for his alleged lover

Vladimir Putin bought Russia’s largest apartment, a luxurious penthouse in Sochi, Russia’s Black Sea resort city, for his alleged lover Alina Kabaeva, an investigation has found.

An investigation by Proekt, a Russian independent investigative media company banned by the Kremlin, found that in 2011 the Russian president bought a $15 million 2,600-square-foot penthouse for his alleged lover that featured a swimming pool, movie theater, a… Terrace and garden features private helipad on the roof.

Kabaeva, a 39-year-old former Olympic gymnast, has been romantically linked to the Russian leader for years. The Kremlin has repeatedly quashed these rumours.

Images released by Proekt show the interior and roof of the two-storey penthouse in the “Korolevskiy Park” residential complex. The apartment has an outdoor pool with “excellent sea views”, an open plan space with “several relaxation areas”, a staircase and dining room almost entirely in marble, an office and library, an open fireplace and a private cinema” finished with precious woods.”

The penthouse is considered “the largest apartment in Russia” and is registered under the name of Oleg Rudnov, an ally of Putin, the news agency reported.

Proekt said his correspondent went to Sochi and posed as a potential buyer. Real estate agents who sold apartments in the building said they heard the penthouse was “owned by Kabaeva.”

The outlet also spoke to 10 former and current senior officials, and none of them “doubted the existence of a connection” between Putin and Kabaeva.

The two reportedly met in the mid-2000s. In 2008, Putin divorced his wife Lyudmila Shkrebneva, with whom he has two children, although the Kremlin did not recognize the divorce until 2013.

According to Proekt, Putin also built a wooden mansion for Kabaeva deep in the countryside just 800 meters (2,624 feet) from his mansion near Lake Valdai in northern Russia, 400 kilometers northeast of Moscow.

“It was built specifically for Kabaeva,” the news agency quoted a source as saying.

The wooden mansion is reportedly registered to a company controlled by Yury Kovalchuk, a Kremlin-affiliated billionaire known as the Russian leader’s banker.

Proekt reported that there is a “huge spa complex with a solarium, a cryochamber, a 25-meter swimming pool, a hammam, a sauna, a mud treatment room, massage baths, cosmetology and dentistry areas” near both Putin’s villa and that Wooden house from Kabaeva.

Kabaeva has two Olympic medals, 14 World Championships medals and 21 European Championships medals. She has declined to confirm rumors that she is or has been in a relationship with the Russian leader.

There are also allegations that the couple have children together.

Proekt quoted a source as saying that children were constantly present at Kabaeva’s residence near Lake Valdai.

news week has asked the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

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