Putin's Rumored Girlfriend Sanctioned by EU

New sanctions were imposed on Russia by the European Union (EU) on Friday for its war in Ukraine. Included in the sanctions was Alina Kabaeva, the rumored mistress of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Official Journal of the European Union listed Kabaeva in a report of the new set of sanctions. The EU's website noted that individuals on the sanctions list cannot enter countries in the union and "all their assets in the E.U. are frozen."

The EU announced on Thursday that the sixth round of sanctions was approved, and it went into effect on Friday, which coincided with the 100-day point in Putin's war in Ukraine. The new package includes a complete ban on Russian oil imports, detailing that EU member nations have a period of six months to phase out Russian crude oil delivered by sea and eight months for refined petroleum imports.

"Alina Kabaeva is the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the National Media Group (NMG), a holding that owns large stakes in almost all major Russian federal media that reproduce the Russian Government propaganda," the EU journal wrote. "She is a former Russian gymnast and a former member of the State Duma. She is closely associated with President Vladimir Putin."

Alina Kabaeva
Alina Kabaeva, the rumored girlfriend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was included in the EU's new set of sanctions. In this photo, Kabaeva is seen at a reception at the Bocharov Ruchey state residence ion February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

The EU's message on Kabaeva added that "[s]he is therefore responsible for supporting actions and policies which undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine. Furthermore, she is associated with a listed person responsible for and actively supporting actions undermining the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine."

Kabaeva was previously sanctioned by Canada earlier this week after the United Kingdom already took similar actions against her on May 13.

The sanctions also arrived after reports emerged of a gymnastic festival being held in honor of Kabaeva.

The "Alina Festival," which is being broadcast by pro-Kremlin TV channel Russia-1, is being described as an event with hundreds of young children and gymnasts performing choreography to patriotic Soviet Union songs. A similar event for Kabaeva was also reportedly held in April.

Putin, who has been divorced since 2013, has previously denied having a romantic relationship with Kabaeva. She has also never confirmed a relationship with the Russian leader, and the Kremlin has allegedly kept reports linking the two from surfacing in the press.

While Putin remains guarded about his private life, much is known about Kabaeva, who is one of the most honored rhythmic gymnasts in Russia's history. Before retiring from competition, she won two Olympic medals, including the gold for Individual All-Around for Rhythmic Gymnastics at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She also received 14 World Championship medals and 21 European Championship medals.

Following the end of her competitive career in gymnastics, Kabaeva served several years as a member of Putin's United Russia Party in the state Duma, Russia's lower house of Parliament. While serving in government, she also posed for the cover of Vogue Russia in 2011.

She resigned from the Duma in 2014 and took the position of chair on the board of directors at the National Media Group, a large media conglomerate. Past reports in Western media, citing unnamed sources, claimed that Kabaeva shares two young sons with Putin, as well as twin girls born in 2015. However, these claims could not be independently verified by Newsweek.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.