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Alina Kabaeva on cover of Russia's Vogue in triumph of celebrity politics

Alina Kabaeva is gracing the January cover of Russian Vogue. Notable in her own right for being a Gold medalist and Russian parliamentarian, the spotlight instead is on her rumored affair with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

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Alina Kabaeva had many reasons to be famous even before gracing the January cover of Russian Vogue wearing a $33,000 gold Balmain gown.

Beyond being a current parliamentarian and former Olympian, she also the alleged mistress of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – a persistent rumor that got one unlucky Moscow newspaper shut down for repeating it, while also fueling an almost frantic buzz around her name in Moscow high society circles.

Ms. Kabaeva is one of Russia's most successful rhythmic gymnasts (see video below). She took part in six world championships and brought home an Olympic Gold medal in 2004.

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After she retired in 2004, she was recruited by the ruling pro-Kremlin United Russia party and soon joined several other former Olympic champions in the ranks of the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament.

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