Putin’s Alleged Mistress to Grace Cover of Russian Vogue

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Russian President Vladimir smiles at former Russian gymnast Alina Kabayeva


If there’s one way to spark controversy in fashion and politics, splashing a Prime Minister’s alleged mistress across the cover of Vogue certainly makes the cut.

And that’s just what the newly appointed Russian Vogue editor Viktoria Davydova did when she chose former Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva to grace Vogue’s January 2011 edition. Wrapped in a decadent gold Balmain dress estimated to be worth $33,000, the headline ‘Her Main Victory’ is cunningly placed between her legs.

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The cover choice of the acclaimed fashion title is likely to anger Mr. Putin, who’s denied a relationship with Ms. Kabayeva, now a politician for the staunchly pro-Kremlin Party of United Russia. But despite insisting he’s still married to former air hostess Lyudmila Shkrebneva, who he wedded in 1983, Mr. Putin and the 27-year-old have been photographed together at official functions.  In 2008, a Moscow agency claimed it had been approached to plan the couple’s wedding. Last year, Ms Kabayeva gave birth to a son and has never identified the father publicly.

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When a Russian newspaper published the mistress rumor it was closed down soon afterwards by its owner, Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev. But something tells NewsFeed it might a bit more to shut down Russian Vogue.