File photo of Vladimir Putin and Alina Kabaeva
Vladimir Putin Pleads For No More Sanctions: Russia Has No 'Ill Intentions' Photo by Sergei Chirikov/AFP via Getty Images

Alina Kabaeva, the long-time rumored mistress of Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin, was seen with a group of children in Moscow before going missing due to sanctions by multiple Western countries for her close personal ties with Putin.

Kabaeva has not been seen in public since before the sanctions were imposed. Surprisingly, she reappeared to record a show in April after reportedly hiding in a Switzerland bolthole. She was last spotted in Moscow when she recorded a military-themed television extravaganza called Alina 2022, which has been broadcast multiple times on state television.

The so-called Alina Festival, led by the Olympic champion, premiered on the Russia-1 channel Wednesday, to mark the International Day for the Protection of Children. Kabaeva acted as the host of the athletic and musical event, sporting a $1,700 pink floral wrap dress by Alessandra Rich. It was said to be the second Alina Festival to be held in Moscow. As part of the annual event, Kabaeva visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow with some young girls and boys to lay flowers for the dead from the second world war.

The 39-year-old Olympic gold-winning rhythmic gymnast was sanctioned by Britain in May, followed by Canada and Europe. "She is alleged to have a close personal relationship with Putin," said the United Kingdom as they imposed the sanctions.

Canadian foreign affairs minister Melanie Joly initially called her "a person very close to Putin". She added, "I don't know (what) to call her, but his partner, yes, I guess." The EU labeled her "a close associate" of Putin, while the United States reportedly held off on imposing sanctions against her as the measure was seen as too drastic.

Kabaeva has been romantically involved with Putin since at least 2008. They never confirmed their relationship, although according to sources, the pair share 7-year-old twin daughters and two sons. Kabaeva has been the chairman of The National Media Group (NMG), with a salary amounting to almost £8 ($10) million a year. The company is known to control multiple pro-Putin television and newspaper outlets. However, all details have been wiped off from open databases after the UK's imposition of sanctions against Kabaeva.

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

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