May 13, 2022 - World

UK sanctions Putin's rumored mistress

Alina Kabaeva

Alina Kabaeva in 2011. Photo: Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin's rumored mistress, Alina Kabaeva, is among the targets of a new round of sanctions announced by U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Friday, aimed at Putin's inner circle.

Why it matters: The U.K.'s decision to sanction Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast, comes several weeks after U.S. officials made a "last-minute" decision to exclude her from U.S. sanctions for fear of further escalating tensions between the U.S. and Moscow, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The big picture: The new sanctions are intended to hit people close to Putin who help support his lavish lifestyle and regime through their positions of power, per the press release.

  • Kabaeva is chair of the board of Russia's New Media Group, believed to be the largest Russian private media company.
  • Kabaeva's grandmother, Anna Zatseplina, has also been sanctioned, as has Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, Putin's ex-wife, who benefits from favorable business relationships with state-owned companies.
  • Igor Putin, the director of Pechenga International Sea Port and President Putin's first cousin, is also on the list, among more distant family members.

What they're saying: "We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle and tightening the vice on his inner circle," Truss said in a statement.

  • "We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails."

Zoom out: Putin's family members have been targets of international sanctions before. Last month the U.S. sanctioned Putin's two adult daughters.

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