What is 'Alina Festival' held by Putin for rumored mistress?
The festival appears to be a patriotic event
The festival aired on Wednesday to mark the International Day for the Protection of Children
Kabaeva is also seen in the video
What is "Alina Festival"?
The festival appears to be a patriotic event full of nostalgia for the time of the Soviet Union. The festival aired on Wednesday to mark the International Day for the Protection of Children.
Videos of the festival shared online show hundreds of young children and gymnasts performing on stage in choreography full of grandeur, with Soviet Union's patriotic songs playing in the background.
Kabaeva is also seen in the video against a backdrop of black and orange striped Z – a symbol of support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Newsweek, which added that Putin's rumored mistress praised the Russian military. She also appeared to link the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II to the current events in Ukraine.
Kabaeva rarely appears on Russian television. She is rumored to have had four children with the Russian president. However, Putin, 69, has never acknowledged a relationship with Kabaeva.
The event came as Putin faces global criticism over the invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24 and is still ongoing with millions being displaced and thousands of soldiers and civilians losing their lives.
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"This gymnastics festival that is starting today in Russia seems to be crammed full of Putin's favorite things, including an overabundance of Soviet nostalgia and his rumored mistress Alina Kabaeva, in whose honor this festival was named," wrote Daily Beast journalist Julia Davis on Twitter sharing a clip of the festival from Russia-1.
Known as "Russia's most flexible woman," has been serving as the chairperson of the board of directors at National Media Group, a major pro-Kremlin media group. She was last seen in public in December at the same arena for another event.