A Russian newspaper that printed rumours about President Vladimir Putin’s alleged affair with a beautiful young gymnast has been suspended from publication.
Last week the Moscow tabloid Moskovsky Korrespondent, which is owned by Russian billionaire-politician Alexander Lebedev, ran a story claiming the 55-year old Putin had secretly divorced his wife and was planning to marry Alina Kabayeva, 25, a Duma deputy and former Olympic gold medal winner.
Putin, who had been travelling abroad for much of last week, finally scotched the story on Friday. “What you are saying has not a single word of truth,” he told journalists. The Russian president, who has been married for 25 years and has two grown daughters, then joked about the subject with reporters.
But the outcome wasn't amusing for Moskovsky Korrespondent which ran an abject apology in its Friday edition before shutting down publication indefinitely for what editors called “financial reasons”.