Monday, May 16, 2022

UK Sanctions Vladimir Putin’s Mistress, Alina Kabaeva, Wife And Close Friends As Crackdown On Russian Leader’s Luxury Lifestyle

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The UK has slapped fresh sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s personal inner circle, including his mistress, in a bid to target his billions of undeclared wealth, Liz Truss has announced.

In a move hitting a host of the Russian President’s closest associates, the Foreign Secretary said the latest measures would tighten the screw on those who prop up his business interests and “luxury lifestyle”, described by the Government as “Putin’s wallets”.

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Among those sanctioned is Alina Kabaeva, a retired Olympic gymnast, who is widely believed to be Mr Putin’s mistress. She has risen to become Chair of the Board of the National Media Group, reportedly the largest private Russian media company.

She is one of several close friends and family members who help keep his lavish lifestyle ticking in return for money and positions of power.

russia and ukraineAccording to official Russian records, Mr Putin lists just a small flat in St Petersburg, two Soviet-era cars from the 1950s, a trailer and a small garage as his assets.

But in reality, he is among the richest men in the world, with reports linking him to a £566m super-yacht, boasting two helipads, and a £1bn home, dubbed “Putin’s Palace”, which could rival Versaille.

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Announcing the measures, Ms Truss said: “We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle and tightening the vice on his inner circle. We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails.”

As well as Ms Kabaeva, the sanctions will target her grandmother Anna Zatseplina, who is also an associate of Gennady Timchenko – a longstanding Putin ally, sanctioned by the UK in February 2022, from whom she has reportedly received a luxury flat in Moscow.

Others include former First Lady of Russia and ex-wife Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, Igor Putin, his first cousin, Mikhail Putin, a Russian businessman and another relative to Mr Putin, all of whom have benefitted from their relationship with the Russian leader.

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Other loyal supporters and confidants hit with sanctions, include Alexander Plekhov, a close friend of Putin, whose company Vital Development Corporation has benefited from significant state patronage and Mikhail Klishin, an Executive in Bank Rossiya, and a member of the Board of Directors at SOGAZ.

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Vladimir Kolbin, the son of Putin’s childhood friend and alleged business associate, Peter Kolbin, is also on the list, along with Yuri Shamalov, son of Nikolai Shamalov, who was sanctioned by the UK in 2014.

Such figures have prominent positions in the economic sector and allow Mr Putin to expand his reach into the furthest reaches of the Russian economy.

The UK says the sanctions will isolate the family members and financiers “deep within Putin’s inner circle”, piling pressure on the Russian leader.

Photo Credit: Getty

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