Where's Vlad? In Switzerland with his mistress attending the birth of his 'lovechild'

Swiss media is reporting that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has not been seen in public for 10 days, is in the town of Lugano on the French border attending to the birth of his child. Putin is reported to have had a long term relationship with a former Olympic gymnast and Russian politician, Alina Kabaeva, and is said to have gotten her pregnant.

New York Post:

“Es ist ein Madchen!” or “It’s a Girl!” screamed a headline from the Swiss newspaper Blick, which had him in Lugano to witness the arrival of his child with Alina Kabaeva, 31, a retired Olympic gymnast who served in the Russian parliament and now works for a media company.

The paper reported that Putin’s daughter was born at the posh Santa Anna di Sorgeno clinic on the Italian border.

Putin reserved two rooms at the clinic — one for Kabaeva, and one for body guards, Swiss radio channel RSI said, according to the Daily Beast.

Putin himself was staying with friends in the area, the Swiss website Ticino news reported.

Desperate to squash the rumors, the Kremlin released a photo and video Friday of the 62-year old Russian strongman meeting with the head of the Russian Supreme Court.

But there was no way to verify when they were taken, and plenty of reason for suspicion.

On Wednesday, the government issued a picture of a meeting between Putin and the regional governor of Karelia, but the Russian newspaper RBC said the meeting actually took place March 4.

There has been no verified Putin sightings since March 5, when he appeared at a press conference in Moscow with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Two canceled meetings since then have Kremlin watchers furiously trying to figure out where Putin is and what he’s doing.

Putin has two adult children with his ex-wife, Lyudmila Shkrebneva, and has insisted he has no relationship with the gymnast.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov denied the love child stories.

“The information on a baby born to Vladimir Putin is false,” Peskov said. “I am going to ask people who have money to organize a contest on the best media rumor.”

The Post front page has a little fun with Putin:

It's not very likely that Putin is in Switzerland. Tender Vlad being all solicitious of his mistresse's well being? I didn't know crocodiles felt emotion.

This entire controversy may blow over tomorrow as Putin is scheduled to meet with the president of Kyrgyzstan. The meeting was announced by the Kremlin on Friday so you have to figure they are reasonably certain Putin will show up.

But what if he doesn't? What if the meeting is canceled?  If that happens, alarm bells will begin ringing all over the world as speculation about just who is in charge in Russia begins to get serious. Russia has a line of succession but many observers believe in a power struggle after the death or incapacitation of Putin, it won't mean much. You don't need reminding that Russia has a couple of thousand nukes and is engaged in a proxy war in Ukraine. Leaders get antsy when they question whose finger is on the nuclear trigger.

 

Swiss media is reporting that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has not been seen in public for 10 days, is in the town of Lugano on the French border attending to the birth of his child. Putin is reported to have had a long term relationship with a former Olympic gymnast and Russian politician, Alina Kabaeva, and is said to have gotten her pregnant.

New York Post:

“Es ist ein Madchen!” or “It’s a Girl!” screamed a headline from the Swiss newspaper Blick, which had him in Lugano to witness the arrival of his child with Alina Kabaeva, 31, a retired Olympic gymnast who served in the Russian parliament and now works for a media company.

The paper reported that Putin’s daughter was born at the posh Santa Anna di Sorgeno clinic on the Italian border.

Putin reserved two rooms at the clinic — one for Kabaeva, and one for body guards, Swiss radio channel RSI said, according to the Daily Beast.

Putin himself was staying with friends in the area, the Swiss website Ticino news reported.

Desperate to squash the rumors, the Kremlin released a photo and video Friday of the 62-year old Russian strongman meeting with the head of the Russian Supreme Court.

But there was no way to verify when they were taken, and plenty of reason for suspicion.

On Wednesday, the government issued a picture of a meeting between Putin and the regional governor of Karelia, but the Russian newspaper RBC said the meeting actually took place March 4.

There has been no verified Putin sightings since March 5, when he appeared at a press conference in Moscow with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Two canceled meetings since then have Kremlin watchers furiously trying to figure out where Putin is and what he’s doing.

Putin has two adult children with his ex-wife, Lyudmila Shkrebneva, and has insisted he has no relationship with the gymnast.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov denied the love child stories.

“The information on a baby born to Vladimir Putin is false,” Peskov said. “I am going to ask people who have money to organize a contest on the best media rumor.”

The Post front page has a little fun with Putin:

It's not very likely that Putin is in Switzerland. Tender Vlad being all solicitious of his mistresse's well being? I didn't know crocodiles felt emotion.

This entire controversy may blow over tomorrow as Putin is scheduled to meet with the president of Kyrgyzstan. The meeting was announced by the Kremlin on Friday so you have to figure they are reasonably certain Putin will show up.

But what if he doesn't? What if the meeting is canceled?  If that happens, alarm bells will begin ringing all over the world as speculation about just who is in charge in Russia begins to get serious. Russia has a line of succession but many observers believe in a power struggle after the death or incapacitation of Putin, it won't mean much. You don't need reminding that Russia has a couple of thousand nukes and is engaged in a proxy war in Ukraine. Leaders get antsy when they question whose finger is on the nuclear trigger.