A former gymnast who is rumoured to have had twins with Russian President Vladimir Putin has vanished from the public eye.
Alina Kabaeva, a famous 37-year-old Olympic gold medallist, has not been seen in public since 2018 when she was said to be two months pregnant with children thought to be fathered by Putin.
It was reported that Kabaeva gave birth to twin boys by Caesarean section in April last year at a Moscow clinic but neither she nor Putin have confirmed this.
Despite her apparent disappearance, she has kept up the touching habit of leaving flowers at the grave of the mother of a friend and former teammate.
Alina Kabaeva, a 37-year-old Olympic gold medallist who is the rumoured lover of Vladimir Putin, has not been seen in public since 2018 (pictured together in 2004)
During her heyday in the 2000s, Kabaeva was part of an extremely successful trio of Russian gymnasts, along with Lyasan Utiasheva and Irina Chashchina.
The three friends won multiple medals but are no longer in close contact as Kabaeva and Chashchina prefer to live quietly, Utiasheva told Infox.ru this week.
Kabaeva's former team mate says that every time she visits her mother's grave there are flowers with a card saying: 'With love from Alina'.
Utiasheva said she knows for certain the flowers are from Kabaeva as she doesn't know anyone else named Alina.
While the pair now see each other extremely rarely, Utiasheva said she knows she could call Kabaeva if she ever needed to and doesn't begrudge her decision to shy away from contact.
'If a person decides to lead a life that is closed from the eyes of society, this choice must be respected,' Utiasheva said.
Fellow former gymnast and friend of Kabaeva Lyasan Utiasheva is seen modelling as part of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz fashion Week in Russia. Utiasheva says that it is 'extremely rare' that her and Kabaeva are 'extremely rarely' in contact but that Putin's rumoured girlfriend still leaves flowers at the grave of Utiasheva's mother
Lyasan Utiasheva was part of a decorated trio of Russian rhythmic gymnasts - along with Alina Kabaeva and Irina Chashchina - who enjoyed huge success in the 2000s. She is seen performing here at a 'Legends of Sport' show
Kabaeva is one of the most decorated athletes in rhythmic gymnastic history, with 2 Olympic medals, 14 World Championship medals, and 25 European Championship medals.
After retiring from the sport, Kabaeva turned to politics, and became an MP in Putin's United Russia party.
She also once posed semi-naked in a