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Vladimir Putin has reportedly ditched his "sex-mad" mistress and their children to live in his Kremlin flat.
The Russian warmonger is thought to have become stressed by his failing invasion of Ukraine and is understood to have deserted his gymnast lover Alina Kabaeva, 39, and their young children, instead spending much of his time inside a carefully-guarded fortress close to his office.
In a TV interview over the weekend, he confessed: "I have an apartment here, where I spend a lot of time lately.
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"I work here and spend a lot of nights often."
Reports suggest the Russian despot had grown paranoid for his security before making the move.
Until recently it was believed Putin had been living in his official residence at Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow, although it was revealed he also kept a forest palace at Valdai where he was living with Kabaeva and their children – of which there are at least two, born in 2015 and 2019.
He also regularly uses his official Bocharov Ruchey residence on the Black Sea and is understood to own another palace at Gelendzhik.
The £1billion stately home at Gelendzhik is said to even be kitted out with a pole-dancing boudoir and its own vineyard.
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But it seems Putin now favours his more secure Kremlin flat, where he also confessed to hosting Chinese president Xi Jinping during a state visit last week.
Putin added the leaders had spent time "sitting by the fireplace and drinking tea, [and] talked about everything slowly".
His spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, stressed that Putin's decision to spend his time close to his office was a direct result of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Asked how often Putin lived here, he said: "Very often since the beginning of the [special military operation in Ukraine].
"He uses this apartment as his work schedule is busy."
The location of the flat itself hasn't officially been revealed but it is thought it can be found in the Senate Palace, designed by the Russian architect Matvey Kazakov between 1776 and 1787.
Putin has also remained quiet on the subject of his extramarital relationship with Kabaeva and the young family they share.
Speaking of his life away from public office, he said: "I have a private life in which I do not permit interference. It must be respected," adding that he hates "those who with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies prowl into others' lives."
The former Olympic gymnast, who was described as "sex-mad" by a photographer, has previously admitted she is in a relationship with a man who she "loves very much".
"Sometimes you feel so happy that you even feel scared," she said, although she stopped short of confirming the man in question was Putin.
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- Vladimir Putin
- Russia Ukraine war
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