Swiss newspapers claim Vladimir Putin’s girlfriend has given birth in Switzerland
Nirapad News : The whereabouts of Russian president Vladimir Putin were shrouded in mystery last night amid rumours he was at the bedside of his pregnant girlfriend or sidelined with an illness.
Putin, 62, has not been seen in public in recent days and an official picture of him meeting the chairman of Russia’s supreme court has been dismissed as being out of date.
Reports in Moscow suggest he could be in Lugano, part of the Italian region of Switzerland, where former Olympic gymnast gold medal winner Alina Kabayeva, 31, was rumoured to be about to give birth.
As gossip reached fever pitch, other reports claimed that she had already had a child.
Other rumours circulating in Moscow claim he has suffered a stroke or may be about to be the victim of a coup following the sudden cancellation of a scheduled trip to Kazakhstan.
Rumours about 62-year-old Putin are rife despite his official spokesman saying: “Information about the birth of Vladimir Putin’s child does not correspond to reality.”
The Russian Tatler newspaper yesterday repeated gossip that Ms Kabayeva has previously had two other children with Putin.
Ms Kabayeva has been out of the public eye since quitting as an MP in Putin’s United Russia party last September.
And in another development, Andrei Illarionov, Putin’s former chief economics aide, said that Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev is about to be replaced by former defence minister Sergei Ivanov.
Illarionov said: “In the next few days, we should expect the resignation of prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and Sergei Ivanov being appointed in his place.”
Some Kremlin-watchers say that Western sanctions have created huge tensions inside Putin’s entourage as the rouble has plummeted against foreign currencies.
The murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov has only intensified the infighting with blame for his killing blamed on Putin’s close allies in Chechnya.
The latest speculation comes four months after Putin personally brushed aside claims he could be overthrown.
He said at the time: “I can assure you that we don’t have palaces so a palace coup isn’t really possible.
“The official presidential residence is the Kremlin.
“It is well protected.”