Putin Set to Wed 24-Year-Old Gymnast
Russian president said to have split from wife 2 months ago
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 5:31 PM CDT
Former world champion Alina Kabaeva of Russia performs with a ribbon during the Ion Cup rythmic gymnastics competition at Ise city in Mie prefecture, central Japan 15 November 2006.   ((STR/AFP/Getty Images))
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(Newser) – Vladimir Putin is said to be preparing to marry a 24-year-old star Russian gymnast, the Telegraph reports. Rumors of the 56-year-old president’s courtship to Alina Kabaeva have been swirling around Moscow for months, but were recently printed by a Russian newspaper that found a St. Petersburg event planner who said he was organizing a wedding for the couple.

Though not officially separated from his wife, Ludmilla, Putin is said to have dumped her two months ago. The wedding is set for mid-June, about a month after Putin will formally cede the presidency to Dmitry Medvedev. Kabaeva has earned a prominent place in the gymnastics world and represented Russia at the Olympics in Sydney and Athens.