Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has been forced to deny rumours the Russian president has married a former Olympic gymnast.
Social media and internet forums were flooded with claims the recently divorced leader had tied the knot with Alina Kabayeva in a secret ceremony
The rumours were sparked by Mr Putin's political rival Alexei Navalny, who tweeted: "I'm told that Putin and Kabayeva are marrying today at the Iver Monastery. All of Valdai sealed off."
But Russian news agency Ria Novosti reported that spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the suggestions in a TV interview. He called the rumours "internet exercises out of boredom".
Mr Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, made a joint announcement revealing they were to separate in a TV appearance in June.
Both said the reason for their split was the time-consuming nature of the president's work.
The announcement ended years of speculation about the strength of the couple's marriage, with the first lady rarely seen in public over recent years.
Mr Peskov said at the time that there was no other woman in Mr Putin's life, and that any other information was nothing more than "gossip, hearsay and assumptions".