Russia is holding a gymnastics festival, which many publications say is in honor of Alina Kabaeva, believed to be President Vladimir Putin’s girlfriend. The festival is being held amid global criticism Putin has faced over invading Ukraine.
It was called “Alina Festival” and was led by the Olympic champion, according to a report on New York Post† The festival took place last month but premiered on Wednesday on pro-Kremlin television channel Russia-1 to mark the International Day for the Protection of Children, it further said.
The video of the event, circulates onlineshows hundreds of children and gymnasts performing on stage, with Soviet Union patriotic songs in the background.
The After said in its report that the festival featured a military choir broadcasting World War II songs.
According to an news week report, Kabaeva is also featured in the video against a background of black and orange striped Z, the letter that has become a symbol of support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
She is further seen to praise the Russian military and seem to link the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II with current events in Ukraine. news week said.
Putin, 69, has never acknowledged a relationship with Ms. Kabaeva, but US officials believe the 38-year-old is the mother of at least three of his children.
Known as “Russia’s most flexible woman”, Kabaeva was a member of parliament for six years as a representative of Mr Putin’s United Russia party.
She has chaired the board of National Media Group, a major pro-Kremlin media group, for more than seven years. According to The Daily Mail, she receives a salary of almost £8 million a year.
Kabaeva was last seen in public in the same arena for another event in December. According to a petition launched on change.org, Ms Kabaeva was locked up in a luxury villa in Switzerland with her children.