The United Kingdom has announced new sanctions against family and friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Besides a series of cousins, ex-wife Lyudmila Ucheretnaya (64) and alleged girlfriend Alina Kabayeva (39) can no longer escape sanctions, VRT reports.
The list of people that the UK is sanctioning because of “undying loyalty” to Putin now has over 1,000 people on it.
“We are now tightening our grip on his inner circle once again, and will continue to do so until Ukraine triumphs,” the UK government has said.
Ushcheretnaya was married to Putin for 30 years and Kabajeva is said to be the reason why this marriage ended on the rocks - although the Kremlin has always firmly denied these rumours.
Guarded personal affairs
Since the very beginning of his political career, Putin has kept his private life largely out of the limelight. Just as the world knows little about his daughters Maria and Katerina, any romantic interests are also unknown at this time.
Officially, Lyudmila Otcheretnaya was Putin's only partner. After less than two years of marriage, daughter Maria was born in April 1985, followed by Katerina in August 1986.
In the 30 years that Putin and Ushcheretnaya were married, she rarely appeared on stage.
“My wife is not a public person,” Putin said in 2012, asking the media to keep his family out of political coverage.
Over a year later, they announced that they were separating. According to Ushcheretnaya, it was a joint decision: “Our marriage is over because we hardly see each other.”
While Putin and Ushcheretnaya may have separated, she remained one of his confidants.
According to the UK, she has “privileged business relations with Russian state-owned companies and substantial unexplained wealth,” which is why the British put her on the sanctions list.
Alleged mistress is pregnant, supposedly the mother of Putin’s other children
Alina Kabayeva was in the Russian parliament for Putin's party between 2007 and 2014 and today is the chairman of the board of directors of the National Media Group (NMG) - Russia's largest private media company. Unofficially, she has been Putin's mistress since 2008.
That Putin and Kabayeva have a relationship has never been confirmed, although it is assumed that they even have children together – some sources say as many as four, including twins. According to the latest rumours, she is currently pregnant again.
Kabajeva allegedly lives with her children in a high-security villa in Lugano, Switzerland. At the end of March a petition was organised, signed by more than 60,000 people, to have her expelled from Switzerland, but the Swiss government said it had no evidence that she was staying there.
The European Union and the United States are said to be considering sanctioning Kabajeva because of her connection with Putin.
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Great Britain is also putting her grandmother Anna Zatseplina on the sanctions list, as she is also the partner of oligarch and Putin's ally Gennady Timchenko.
The question is whether Svetlana Krivonogikh and Luiza Rozova will also end up on the list. Krivonogikh, once a cleaning lady but today one of the richest women in Russia, appeared in the Pandora Papers as the owner of a flat with sea view in Monaco.
She obtained the flat with a price tag of €3.4 million through an offshore company, which was set up a few weeks after the birth of her daughter Luiza Rozova, considered by many to be an illegitimate daughter of Putin.