Missing Russian president Vladimir Putin was reportedly in Switzerland for the birth of a child with 32-year-old Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva. Meanwhile, a Russian state-run television network had mistakenly reported on Sunday, March 15, about Mr Putin’s attendance in a meeting due to happen on Monday, March 16.
Putin in Switzerland for Birth of Child
Mr Putin was last seen in public on March 5 and had reportedly postponed an important meeting with his counterpart from South Ossetia.
Citing an article from Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, the Daily Beast reported that Mr Putin’s absence is due to the birth of his love child with Kabayeva. The report did not mention the exact date the alleged child was born, but claimed that delivery happened at Santa Anna di Sorgeno clinic on the Italian border of Ticino.
The Daily Beast noted Ticino is a favorite hub among affluent Russians. The newspaper Il Messaggero also reported Kabayeva had already given birth to a son with Mr Putin in 2009, and another baby in 2012.
According to the Daily Beast, the alleged presence of Putin in the Italian border was covered across Italian media. In Italian-language Swiss radio RSI, a report claimed Mr Putin got two rooms at the clinic – reserved for Kabayeva and his security personnel.
Another Italian-language Swiss news website, Ticino News, reported that Mr Putin had friends with him while waiting for Kabayeva to give birth. The website also claimed to have seen a Twitter page announcing the birth of the child. However, there were conflicting reports regarding the gender of the baby. The Twitter announcement suggested the baby is a boy, while Ill Messaggero reported the baby is a girl.
Kabayeva is the daughter of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Is there a cover-up?
Meanwhile, a Russian state-run television network, Rossiya 24, has reported that a meeting between Mr Putin and his Kyrgyz counterpart transpired. However, the report was aired on Sunday when the meeting was supposed to take place on Monday.
The news has gotten negative attention as it was reported in the past tense, The Vocativ reported.
“The Kremlin also reports that Vladimir Putin met with Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev on Monday. They talked about cooperation in investment and humanitarian spheres, as well as the energy sector. They also discussed the possibility of Kyrgyzstan joining the Eurasian Economic Union,” the report went, as quoted by The Vocativ.
The erroneous Sunday report written in the past tense sparked more speculations about a possible cover-up in terms of the whereabouts of Mr Putin.