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Putin’s British-educated ‘Barbie lover’: The glamorous 39-year-old ex-London student rumoured to have ‘grown close’ to Russian president after meteoric rise leading fearsome online anti-war crackdown


By the time Vladimir Putin divorced his long-suffering wife Lyudmila Shkrebneva in 2013, he’d already been rumoured to have enjoyed two extramarital affairs  – and fathered at least one secret child.

Former cleaning lady Svetlana Krigonovikh, now 48, first aroused suspicion in the early 2000s when she suddenly moved into a penthouse apartment in St. Petersburg and became a multi-millionaire almost overnight with shares in Russia‘s national bank and ownership of a striptease nightclub. 

Her 20-year-old daughter, Luiza Rozova, is widely believed to be Putin’s lovechild.

And for well over a decade, the Kremlin chief has been linked to the now 40-year-old Alina Kabaeva – a gold medal-winning Olympian described by the Maxim photographer who shot her nude as being ‘full of sex’.

But apparently an Olympic gymnast mistress isn’t enough to satisfy the Russian President, who at the grand old age of 71 is now said to have scored yet another elite – and younger – undercover lover.

Ekaterina ‘Katya’ Mizulina, 39, is the latest high-flying Russian to have taken Putin’s fancy, according to Russian opposition Telegram channels that reported the pair have ‘grown close’.

Now, with speculation abound the Russian President has traded Kabaeva in for a younger model, MailOnline takes a look at the woman who might just be the new Mrs Putin.

Ekaterina 'Katya' Mizulina, 39, is the latest high-flying Russian to have taken Putin's fancy, according to several Russian Telegram channels that reported the pair have 'grown close'

Ekaterina ‘Katya’ Mizulina, 39, is the latest high-flying Russian to have taken Putin’s fancy, according to several Russian Telegram channels that reported the pair have ‘grown close’ 

Ekaterina 'Katya' Mizulina (pictured), 39, is the dictator's 'morality guardian' as the head of Russia 's Safe Internet League

Ekaterina ‘Katya’ Mizulina (pictured), 39, is the dictator’s ‘morality guardian’ as the head of Russia ‘s Safe Internet League

The 39-year-old is the daughter of pro-Putin senator Yelena Mizulina and Professor Mikhail Mizulin, a Moscow-based philosopher and academic

The 39-year-old is the daughter of pro-Putin senator Yelena Mizulina and Professor Mikhail Mizulin, a Moscow-based philosopher and academic

Svetlana Krigonovikh, now 48, first aroused suspicion of an affair with Putin in the early 2000s when she suddenly moved into a penthouse apartment in St. Petersburg and became a multi-millionaire almost overnight

Svetlana Krigonovikh, now 48, first aroused suspicion of an affair with Putin in the early 2000s when she suddenly moved into a penthouse apartment in St. Petersburg and became a multi-millionaire almost overnight

Elizaveta Krivonogikh, also known as Luiza Rozova, is said to be Putin's third child

Elizaveta Krivonogikh, also known as Luiza Rozova, is said to be Putin’s third child

For well over a decade, the Kremlin chief has been linked to the now 40-year-old Alina Kabaeva - a gold medal-winning Olympian described by the Maxim photographer who shot her nude as being 'full of sex'

For well over a decade, the Kremlin chief has been linked to the now 40-year-old Alina Kabaeva – a gold medal-winning Olympian described by the Maxim photographer who shot her nude as being ‘full of sex’

Ekaterina Mikhailovna Mizulina, known as ‘Katya’, was marked out for a high-flying public career from an early age.

The daughter of pro-Putin senator Yelena Mizulina and Professor Mikhail Mizulin, a Moscow-based philosopher and academic, Katya followed the path of so many Russian elites and was sent to London to earn a prestigious education.

She graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2004, and set about building a persona as a philanthropist, scooping a series of prominent positions at Russian charity organisations. 

But she rocketed into the public eye in 2017, when she was appointed director of Russia’s Safe Internet League and quickly became a leading figure in Moscow‘s censorship efforts.

That organisation, into which the ultranationalist oligarch Konstantin Malofeev pours untold sums of money, is officially dedicated to protecting young internet users from potentially harmful content such as graphic violence and pornography.

But in reality, Mizulina has assumed a key role in an outfit which limits internet user’s freedoms and cracks down on any content deemed to challenge the Kremlin’s official narratives.

Although the Safe Internet League has no official power like state bodies Roskomnadzor – Russia’s federal mass-media and communications regulator – several musicians, social media influencers and anti-war activists have run afoul of Mizulina.

They have been forced to flee the country, or issue public apologies and censor their content to align with ‘traditional values’. 

‘Not all of the League’s requests are automatically acted upon by law enforcement officials – but if the goals of both parties align in an individual case, administrative and criminal charges can follow,’ a lawyer from digital rights NGO Roskomsvoboda told independent Russian outlet Nastoyashchee Vremya

‘They have connections with the FSB, and they can influence various cases.’

The Safe Internet League is now subject to sanctions by the European Union, such is its sway with Russian authorities.  

Late last year, Mizulina was involved in punishing several Russian stars who attended a ‘nearly naked’ party at a nightclub in Moscow late last year, which is said to have enraged the Russian President at a time of war.

‘To hold such events at a time when our guys are dying in the (Ukrainian) special military operation and many children are losing their fathers is cynical,’ Mizulina declared in the aftermath of the party.

‘Our soldiers on the front line are definitely not fighting for this.

Rapper Nikolai ‘Vacio’ Vasilyev, who covered his manhood with nothing but a sock, was sentenced to a month in prison, slapped with a fine and ordered to attend a military enlistment office.

Meanwhile, party organiser Anastasia ‘Nastya’ Ivleeva is now facing up to five years in jail after her tax affairs were suddenly investigated. She also lost a lucrative sponsorship deal as one of the faces of Russian mobile phone operator MTS. 

And earlier this month, Mizulina made headlines when she declared the Russian government would ‘most likely’ ban virtual private networks (VPNs) – an invaluable tool used by Russian citizens to browse the internet free of the state-imposed controls.

'Moral guardian' Ekaterina Mizulina, head of Russia's Safe Internet League

‘Moral guardian’ Ekaterina Mizulina, head of Russia’s Safe Internet League

Mizulina graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2004

Mizulina graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2004

Svetlana Krivonogikh, a striptease club owner and multimillionaire in St Petersburg, is said to have been Putin's first mistress and is believed to have given birth to one of his children

Svetlana Krivonogikh, a striptease club owner and multimillionaire in St Petersburg, is said to have been Putin’s first mistress and is believed to have given birth to one of his children

Putin (left) is the long time partner of Olympic gold-medal winning rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva (right), 40

Putin (left) is the long time partner of Olympic gold-medal winning rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva (right), 40

Russian rapper Vacio, 25, (left) stands alongside presenter and social media star Nastya Ivleeva (right) who organised the nearly nude party. Both are now facing serious charges, with Vacio reportedly being sent to a military enlistment office

Russian rapper Vacio, 25, (left) stands alongside presenter and social media star Nastya Ivleeva (right) who organised the nearly nude party. Both are now facing serious charges, with Vacio reportedly being sent to a military enlistment office

At the time of writing, speculation that Putin has taken a fancy to Mizulina is just that. 

The pair have not been pictured together and Putin is believed to have fathered several children with Kabaeva, who is said to reside in one of the President’s many opulent hideaways. 

Their alleged relationship has been widely reported by independent Russian media for years, with the Kremlin chief and the gymnast having been pictured together on many occasions. 

Kabaeva herself has given several coy and cryptic interviews about her love for an unnamed man – who sounds suspiciously like Putin – and has been gifted highly prestigious positions, including chairwoman of the National Media Group which is described on its website as Russia’s largest private media holding company. 

But there is a high likelihood that Putin and Mizulina would’ve crossed paths, given her mother’s position in Russian politics as a pro-Kremlin senator and her father’s notoriety as a professor at the state-funded Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.

Both Mizulina’s parents are subject to sanctions for their links to the Kremlin, and Mizulina herself is believed to have a raft of contacts to the FSB security service, given her role as a leading member of the Safe Internet League.  

Russian human rights campaigner Olga Romanova, an expert in the prison system in which opposition leader Alexei Navalny died on Friday, told Ukraine’s Channel 24: ‘Katya Mizulina is completely to Putin’s taste.

‘This ”Barbie *****” type has always suited him very well.’

Romanov likened Mizulina to a younger Krivonogikh, the first woman to have allegedly tempted Putin away from his ex-wife.  

‘[Putin is] 71 years old, let’s not be ageist,’ she said.

‘In general, the man is in full bloom, why not? And Katya Mizulina, she is 39… let’s not forget, she is also for ”traditional values” – just like Alina Kabaeva.’



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