Russian football star marries blogger with difficult past

Dynamo Moscow star forward Fedor Smolov has announced his marriage to Russian DJ and model Karina Istomina

Russian football star marries blogger with difficult past

Dynamo Moscow star footballer Fedor Smolov has married popular Russian DJ and blogger Karina Istomina. The pair shared news of their union on social media on Tuesday, surprising their millions of followers.

Smolov, 33, had previously been in a relationship with the niece of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Maria Yumasheva, who is 12 years his junior. 

On Tuesday, however, just over a month after it was revealed that Smolov was dating Istomina, the couple posted images of themselves wearing wedding rings, with Istomina announcing that she will be taking the footballer’s last name.

Smolov is considered one of the country’s top football players and has played over 45 matches for the Russian National team. He started his career with Dynamo Moscow, where he was a team fixture from 2007 to 2015. After that he played for several other clubs, including Celta Vigo in Spain and Feyenoord Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In 2022 he returned to Dynamo, completing a total of 31 matches for the club this year, scoring 12 goals and contributing 6 assists.

Istomina, for her part, is regarded as one of the most famous DJs in Moscow and is also a podcaster, blogger and Instagram influencer. The 29-year-old had previously also worked as a model and at one point served as the PR manager for Russian synthpop band Tesla Boy.

In 2021, she made headlines after opening up about her battle with addiction to illegal substances and revealed that she had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder the year before and had even tried to commit suicide. She later shared with her followers how she underwent a 12-step self-help program and has since advocated for self-acceptance and talked about the benefits of foregoing drugs, committing to a healthier lifestyle and mental health.