Huffpost Politics

Vladimir Putin, Alina Kabaeva: Russian President Denies He Will Marry Ex-Gymnast

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***UPDATE***
Putin denies he has separated from his wife to marry ex-gymnast and Russian politician Alina Kabaeva.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday denied a tabloid report that he had divorced his wife and intended to marry a champion gymnast less than half his age.

"There is not a single word of truth" to the report carried by a Moscow tabloid, Putin said at a news conference in Sardinia with incoming Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.

***Scroll Down To Read The Reports From Thursday***

The Guardian reports that Moscow is buzzing with rumors that Russian president Vladimir Putin and famous gymnast Alina Kabaeva are set to get married:

Now all Moscow is ablaze with rumours that Vladimir Putin, 56, and the flexible 24-year-old Alina Kabaeva have decided to tie the knot.

The whispers of romance are particularly scurrilous because Mr Putin has not officially announced any separation from his 50-year-old wife, Ludmilla.

But the former KGB spy, known for keeping his private life as far out of the spotlight as his former career, is reported to have split from her two months ago.

According to Hello! magazine, neither Putin nor Kabaeva will confirm reports that a wedding date has been set for June 15th:

Although Russian newspaper Moskovski Korrespondent says a wedding date has been set for June 15, neither the 57-year-old groom nor his fiancee have confirmed the happy news.

Indeed, news that their president officially split from his 50-year-old First Lady two months ago came as a surprise to most Muscovites.

Who is Alina Kabaeva?

24 Years-Old: Born May 12, 1983 in Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union

Kabaeva is known for her extreme natural flexibility. She stands at 1.66m (5'4) and weighs 48kg (106lbs). Alina is Russia's most successful rhythmic gymnast to date, and is also one of the most decorated gymnasts in the history of rhythmic gymnastics.

Kabaeva started rhythmic gymnastics in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 1987 at age 4. Her first coach was A. Malkina. She made her international debut in 1996. In 1998 at age 15 Alina took out the European Championships in Portugal, her victory considered by many to be completely "out of the blue".

Took home a gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Took home a bronze medal in 2000 Sydney.

Since 2005 she is a member of the Public Chamber of Russia.

Since 2007 she has been a member of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, representing the
pro-Kremlin United Russia party.

Scroll down for videos and photos of Alina Kabaeva.

Putin and his rumored ex-wife Ludmilla.

Watch Alina at the 2004 Olympics in Greece.

Watch Alina at the Rhythmic Gymnastics Gala