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The Scary Story Behind the Putin Sex Scandal

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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IN A TWIST Putin, Kabaeva (inset) Last Saturday, a Moscow magazine named Moskovsky Korrespondent published a sensational article claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin had divorced his middle-aged wife, Ludmila, and was preparing to marry a gorgeous 24-year-old Olympic gymnast-turned-topless magazine model-turned-Duma-deputy, Alina Kabaeva.

For some strange reason the story languished all week without getting picked up by a single rival Russian publication—until yesterday, when the European press ran with it, placing Putin alongside other horny Euro-midget dictators like Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi. The Kremlin refused to comment. Kabaeva, most notable for her flexibility, has already threatened to sue Moskovsky Korrespondent if it doesn't retract the story. And this is where a seemingly small-time gossip scandal starts to get interesting.

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