Russia: Grandmother of Putin’s Reputed Girlfriend Reportedly Received Apartments

Published: 27 September 2016

PutinandKabaevaPutin with reputed girlfriend Alina Kabaeva (Photo: CC BY 3.0)

By Chris Benevento

Businessmen close to Russian President Vladimir Putin transfered apartments in historic areas of Moscow and St Petersburg to the grandmother of a woman reputed to be the premier’s girlfriend, Russia’s TV Rain reported Monday.

Gennady Timchenko and Pyotr Kolbin transferred the ownership of three apartments to Anna Zatsepilina, the grandmother of former Olympic gymnast Alina Kabaeva, in December 2015, the station reported, citing property records.

The report said the apartments were located on Moscow’s popular Arbat Street and near St Petersburg’s Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral.

Both Kolbin and Timchenko are believed to be members of Putin’s inner circle and are subject to United States sanctions.

An investigation by TV Rain, also released on Monday, revealed that Kolbin was a childhood friend of Putin in the village of Yasniy and that their families vacationed together.

Kolbin now is Russia’s 149th richest person, according to Forbes magazine, with a net worth of US$ 550 million.

In March this year, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) reported that Alina Kabaeva’s sister, Leyasan Kabaeva, and her grandmother, Anna Zatsepilina, both received properties 2009 and 2013 from businessman Grigory Baevskiy. Baevskiy works for Arkady Rotenberg, a long-time friend and judo sparring partner of Putin. 

The transfers were among several that saw Baevskiy transfer or provide the use of property to women associated with the president. They included Putin’s daughter and a woman who famously offered him a kitten in a web posting titled "Pussy for Putin."

Kabaeva has been rumored for years to be Putin’s girlfriend, but the president – who closely guards his private life – has aggressively denied this.