Vladimir Putin to marry gymnast

Russian president Vladimir Putin set to marry 24-year-old gymnast

The trend for politicians trading in their wives for a younger model seems to have taken off with news that Vladimir Putin is set to marry a 24-year-old gymnast.

The Russian president has taken a leaf out of Nicholas Sarkozy’s book, who married ex-model Carla Bruni last year – 13 years his junior – and plans to wed Alina Kabaeva.

Putin, 56, secretly divorced his wife Ludmilla, two months ago so he would be free to remarry the former rhythmic gymnast and model, who is now a member of the Russian parliament.

Rumours about the fledging romance have been circulating in Russia for some time and now Russian newspaper, Moskovski Korrespondent, has published the story.

The newspaper has reported that the wedding will take place in June. The Kremlin has refused to comment on the relationship and Putin has made no announcement yet of his divorce from his wife.

Kabaeva represented Russia at the Sydney and Athens Olympics. Her career took a different turn more recently when she posed for photographs wrapped only in fur and starred in an action film.

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