Putin’s reputed girlfriend and ex-wife sanctioned by UK government

Russian politician and former Olympic Champion, Alina Kabaeva, smiles as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at the congress of the United Russia Party, on November, 27, 2011 in Moscow, Russia. (Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

Alina Kabaeva, a woman who has been romantically linked to Vladimir Putin, and the Russian leader’s ex-wife Lyudmila Ocheretnaya have been included in the latest list of UK government sanctions against Russia.

In a press release published on Friday, the UK government said the sanctions were intended to target “Putin’s financial network, tightening the vice on the President and his inner circle.”

The UK has now sanctioned more than 1,000 individuals and 100 entities from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, according to the release.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:

We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle … We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails.”

Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast who was first linked to Putin more than a decade ago, was also included in the sixth proposed package of European Union sanctions, according to two European diplomatic sources. Putin has denied he has or had a personal relationship with her.

The UK Foreign Office said Kabaeva “has risen to become Chair of the Board of the National Media Group, reportedly the largest private Russian media company” and “previously sat as a Deputy in the Duma for Putin’s United Russia.”

Ocheretnaya, who divorced from Putin in 2014, has been included in the latest UK sanctions as she has “benefited from preferential business relationships with state-owned entities” since the divorce, according to the government press release.

Others included in the UK’s latest sanctions include Putin’s first cousins Igor Putin and Mikhail Shelomov and the President’s first cousin once removed, Roman Putin.

“Today’s sanctions isolate the family members and financiers deep within Putin’s inner circle, compounding the pressure on Putin as he continues his senseless invasion into Ukraine,” the press release said.

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