US slaps sanctions on Putin’s alleged gymnast girlfriend

Max Keating, DCNF

The United States Treasury Department announced a new round of sanctions targeting Kremlin-connected elites on Tuesday, including a 39-year old former gymnast rumored to be a romantic partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Alina Maratovna Kabaeva is a former member of the State Duma, current head of the National Media Group, a pro-Kremlin media empire, and has a close relationship with Putin, according to a Treasury Department press release Tuesday. The U.S. has considered sanctioning Kabaeva since at least April, but U.S. officials had, until now, felt that going after her would be “deemed so personal a blow to Mr. Putin that it could further escalate tensions between Russia and the U.S,” the WSJ reported.

Kabaeva is believed to Putin’s mistress and the mother to at least three of his children, the WSJ added. She is also a former Russian Vogue cover model and Olympic champion gymnast incriminated in the Russian doping scandal, and is also suspected of helping hide Putin’s personal wealth overseas, according to a separate WSJ article.

The Kremlin has long denied any relationship between Putin and Kabaeva, the WSJ added.

“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.” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a press release. “Together with our allies, the United States will also continue to choke off revenue and equipment underpinning Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine.”

Kabaeva was previously sanctioned by the European Union in May, according to the WSJ.

The efficacy of U.S. and E.U. sanctions on Russia has been debated. While Russian oil and gas exports have provided some buffer from sanctions, a recent report from Yale University shows signs that the Russian economy is beginning to crack.

The Treasury Department did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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