When Alina Kabaeva‘s Vogue Russia cover was revealed, people were really pissed. And it wasn’t because she wore that ubiquitous gold Balmain dress. No, it was because Kabaeva is the alleged mistress of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The issue is now on newsstands, and the cover story features the former Olympian vehemently denying she gave birth to Putin’s baby.
In 2009, rumors circulated that Kabaeva gave birth to a son and that Putin was the child’s father. Not only does Kabaeva deny Putin is her baby daddy, she denies she gave birth at all: “My sweet little nephew Arsenio has joined my ever-extending family in Moscow. Everyone, of course, thinks that he is my son [laughs].”
The retired rhythmic gymnast is now involved in politics herself, as a State Duma deputy. She tells Vogue that Russia is ready for a female head of state, but also says that she knows “men that will always be stronger and higher in power then me.” Hmmm. And a source tells the New York Post: “The elite of Russia believe that the story was given to Vogue to try to squash the rumors, since everyone is positive that once President Dimitry Medvedev’s term is finished in 2012, Putin will run again for his old office.”
The whole thing just sounds off, right? Though we must admit there is something really interesting about Vogue being used as a political tool of sorts. Fashion: it matters!