The newly appointed editor of Russian Vogue has courted controversy by putting Vladimir Putin's alleged mistress on her first front cover.
The January 2011 issue features former rhythmic Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva, 27, wearing a £21,000 gold Balmain dress with her hands on her hips.
Viktoria Davydova’s decision to give her such prominence in the magazine is one that is likely to irritate the strong man Russian prime minister who has scornfully denied a newspaper report that he has left his wife Ludmila, with whom he has two daughters, for Miss Kabayeva.
While there is no substantive evidence that Mr Putin, 58, is romantically linked to Miss Kabayeva, who also happens to be an MP for Mr Putin's ruling United Russia party, the alleged affair has long been the hottest gossip topic among Russia's elite.
The rumour first came to public prominence in 2008 when a Russian newspaper, owned by billionaire oligarch Alexander Lebedev, quoted a source as insisting the story was true.
Mr Lebedev shut the newspaper down soon afterwards claiming it had not been a commercial success though many suspected the real reason was to appease an angry Mr Putin.
The rumours later escalated when bloggers claimed Miss Kabayeva had subsequently given birth to Mr Putin's love child. Mr Putin has angrily claimed that there is "not one word of truth" in any of the allegations, while Miss Kabayeva's spokesperson has refused to discuss what she derided as "nonsense."
Mr Putin has rarely been seen in public with his wife Ludmila in recent years, citing a heavy workload. He married Ludmila, a former air hostess, in 1983, the same year as Miss Kabayeva was born.
2010-12-16 13:54 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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