File picture of Alina Kabaeva
Russian retired rhytmic gymnast and politician Alina Kabaeva attends a reception at the Bocharov Ruchey state residence ion February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Putin called Russian athletes, musicians and artists for the reception to mark the beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

Vladimir Putin’s rumored lover was slapped with sanctions on Tuesday by the US treasury department. Alina Kabaeva, who has been known to retain a “close” relationship with the Russian leader is now on the updated list of the federal Office of Foreign Assets Control that has frozen all of her assets in the U.S. The sanction prohibits all American businesses from dealing with the 39-year-old former Olympic rhythmic gymnast.

According to The Guardian, the sanction came following the latest efforts to force Putin to rethink his military operations in Ukraine when the White House issued sanctions in April against seven of Putin’s family members and five individuals listed as his inner circle of friends. That list now also includes Kabaeva who was sanctioned by the UK in May.

In a statement from U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, she highlighted the fact that Putin’s allies enriched themselves with funded ostentatious lifestyles while innocent civilians suffered in the hands of Russia’s “illegal war of aggression.” “The Treasury Department will use every tool at our disposal to make sure that Russian elites and the Kremlin's enablers are held accountable for their complicity in a war that has cost countless lives,” he added.

The U.S. earlier removed Kabaeva from the UK’s sanctioned list as officials deemed it as a personal attack on Putin and were adamant on its effects as tensions between Russia and the U.S. had been consistently riding on a thin hemline.

But things may now have taken a different turn as the West has ramped up its efforts to corner the Russian leader to give up his war. Kabaeva is rumored to have a secret family with Putin and the pair are rumored to have two sons who were born in 2015 and 2019, respectively. She is said to be hiding in either a Swiss bolthole or possibly a hi-tech underground city bunker in Siberia.

Telegram channel refers to her as the “invisible princess” as she is barely seen in public. She was last seen in June at the Black Sea resort of Sochi in the company of 28 children at a rhythmic gymnastics training camp.

Kabaeva heads a pro-Kremlin media empire, the National Media Group, which controls multiple pro-Putin TV newspaper outlets. Sources say she earns about $9.7 million annually which is way above the average Russian annual income of $ 6,800 a year. Since her UK sanctions, the database register of assets has been cleared of Kabaeva’s details while Putin has continued to deny any romantic affiliations with her.

File photo of Vladimir Putin and Alina Kabaeva
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) hands flowers to Alina Kabaeva, Russian rhytmic gymnastics star and Olympic prize winner, after awarding her with an Order of Friendship during annual award ceremony in the Kremlin 08 June 2001. Photo by Sergei Chirikov/AFP via Getty Images

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