Alina Kabaeva, Putin’s alleged mistress, may be a target of US sanctions – Reuters

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The Biden administration said Alina Kabaeva, a famous Russian gymnast who has apparently become a romantic partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is a potential target of sanctions, after questions raised this week about the lack of sanctions against her.

“No one is safe from our sanctions,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States made the decision at 11 a.m. to remove Kabaeva from a new set of sanctions.

“There’s probably more to do,” Psaki said.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the United States has punished Putin, his associates, and even two of his daughters. As President Biden said last month – before the White House retracted his remark – that Putin “cannot stay in power.”

But the newspaper reported that Kabaeva is seen as too close to Putin, and that sanctions against her could risk further straining relations between Washington and Moscow. World leaders are pressing Russia to engage in meaningful peace talks, and Russia’s ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said this week that the Kremlin wants to “stabilize” and “develop” relations with Russia’s Biden administration.

The sanctions were imposed on Putin’s daughters, Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova, after evidence emerged of what the United States and other countries called war crimes committed by Russian forces in the region from Kyiv to Ukraine, including beheadings, torture and indiscriminate killing. civilians. mutilation of corpses.

He said this month that the West targeted Putin’s associates and family members because he believed “Putin and many of his comrades and oligarchs are hiding their wealth and assets with members of his family.” On condition of anonymity. terms set by the White House.

The United States is targeting members of the Putin family with sanctions. Here’s what you need to know.

For example, last year the Washington Post revealed documents indicating the ownership of a luxury apartment in Monaco by another woman who allegedly had an affair with Putin. Kabaeva’s grandmother also acquired ownership of real estate such as a luxury riverside apartment in Saint Petersburg from a colleague of Putin, according to Russian media.

The Kremlin has long denied the alleged connection between Putin and Kabaeva. A Russian newspaper that published a report in 2008 mysteriously linking Putin and Kabaeva was closed down soon after, although various reports indicate that she is the mother of at least some of his children.

It seems that Kabaeva ended her sports career when she was in love with Putin. She became a deputy for Putin’s ruling ‘United Russia’ party and was one of six torchbearers at the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Last week, she was spotted in public for the first time in months at the “Alina Festival” in Moscow, according to photos posted on Instagram.

While Kabaeva has not been sanctioned by the United States yet, she was summoned along with Putin and his family in a Republican-sponsored House bill – known as the Accountability Act. by Putin – which aims to dissuade the Russian leader from invading Ukraine.

Part of the proposed legislation called for the preparation of a report “on the estimated net worth and known sources of income of Vladimir Putin and his family members, as well as Alina Kabaeva.”

The bill, according to a Republican statement at the time, sought “to impose sanctions on Putin, his family members, his mistress, and his network of kleptocratic oligarchs.”

Julian Doblin contributed to this report.

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