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The identities of Putin’s daughters have never been confirmed by him or the Kremlin and no photograph of them as adults has ever been officially released. Even the number of children Putin fathered is the subject of intense speculation.

Officially, Putin has two children, Maria and Katerina, from his marriage to Lyudmila Putina, a former Aeroflot flight attendant whom he divorced in 2013, becoming the first Russian leader to divorce since Peter the Great in 1698.

Putin, who very rarely spoke publicly about his children, responded to questions at his annual press conference in 2015 by saying his daughters had not fled the country as had been assumed.

Who are the daughters of Vladimir Putin threatened with American sanctions?  |  Vladimir Poutine
Maria and Katerina, photographed in Dresden. Photograph: US Photo Archive/Alamy

“They live in Russia. They have never been educated anywhere but in Russia. I’m proud of them, they continue to study and work,” he said. “My daughters are fluent in three European languages. I never talk about my family with anyone.

“They were never ‘star’ kids, they never enjoyed being pointed at. They just live their own lives.

Putin said his daughters were “taking the first steps in their careers” and were “not involved in business or politics”. However, both girls have since started business ventures.

Katerina Tikhonova, 35, the youngest daughter, was born in Dresden in 1986 when Putin was working as a KGB spy. Tikhonova, who uses her maternal grandmother’s surname, studied at St. Petersburg State University and Moscow State University and has a master’s degree in physics and mathematics .

In addition to studying, Tikhonova is passionate about Japanese culture and acrobatic rock’n’roll dancing, an athletic form of boogie-woogie. In 2013, she and her dance partner finished fifth in the world championships held in Switzerland.

It was footage from her dance competitions, matched with footage from the Moscow State University website where she works, that first established that Tikhonova was Putin’s daughter in 2015.

Who are the daughters of Vladimir Putin threatened with American sanctions?  |  Vladimir Poutine
Tikhonova dancing with Ivan Klimov during the Rock’n’Roll World Cup acrobatic competition in Krakow in 2014. Photograph: Reuters

Tikhonova married Kirill Shamalov, the youngest son of Nikolai Shamalov, a close confidant of Putin and co-owner of Rossiya Bank, which the US government has described as “the personal bank” of senior Kremlin officials. Kirill was appointed Gazprom’s chief legal adviser for foreign economic activity in 2002, when he was just 20 years old.

The couple tied the knot in a secret three-day ceremony at the exclusive Igora ski resort in 2013, before photos of the event were leaked. They divorced in 2018, but details of any financial settlement have not been made public.

Less than two years after the wedding, Shamalov was named by Forbes magazine as one of Russia’s youngest billionaires after acquiring a 17% stake in petrochemical company Sibur from Gennady Timchenko, an ally of Putin who later been slapped with penalties. A 2015 Reuters investigation estimated the couple had stakes worth more than $2bn, as well as a £4m luxury beachfront villa in the French resort of Biarritz .

The eight-bedroom Alta Mira villa in the Atlantic resort was robbed last month by anti-Putin protesters, who posted a video on social media stating: ‘This house was bought with stolen money by Putin and the Russian mafia”.

They said: “Instead of a luxurious retreat for the Putin-Shamalov oligarchs, we decided to organize here a place of rehabilitation and life for the victims of the Putin regime, in particular the refugees from Ukraine and Russia. who were forced to flee war, prisons of repression and torture. The days when dictators and oligarchs could steal their own country and live carelessly in villas in Europe are over.

Tikhonova held various positions at Moscow State University before, in 2020, being named head of a new $1.7 billion institute on “artificial intelligence problems and intellectual systems.” ” at University. Putin previously described the Innopraktika Center as “one of the most essential tools in the national AI technology development strategy”.

Her official advisers at university have included five members of Putin’s inner circle – including two former KGB officers who lived in the same building she grew up in in Dresden.

Putin’s eldest daughter, Maria Vorontsova, 36, is a pediatric endocrinologist, studying the effects of hormones on the body.

Who are the daughters of Vladimir Putin threatened with American sanctions?  |  Vladimir Poutine
Maria Vorontsova, photographed in 2021. Photograph: ITAR-TASS News Agency/Alamy

In 2019 Vorontsova, who lives in a penthouse opposite the US Embassy in Moscow, gave an interview on Russian state television revealing plans for a £500m medical venture to help to cure cancer.

Vorontsova married Russian-born Dutch businessman Jorrit Faassen in 2013, and the couple lived in the penthouse of an exclusive building in Amsterdam. In 2014, some Dutch neighbors called for his expulsion from the country after the downing of MH17 by pro-Russian forces over Ukraine.

Recently, a group from Amsterdam appealed to Vorontsova to beg her father to stop the invasion of Ukraine. A sign placed on land belonging to the couple bed“Within 2,000 kilometers of your peaceful free land, your father is decimating an entire free country and its people. It seems your old man is hard to reach and clearly unstoppable even by his tormentors. But as we all know, fathers and daughters are another story.

Speculation is rife in Russia that Putin has an even more secretive third daughter from a years-long affair with Svetlana Krivonogikh, a Russian woman who grew up in an overcrowded St. Petersburg apartment and worked as a wife. housework.

The Pandora Papers revealed that Krivonogikh, 46, became the owner of the apartment in Monaco through an offshore company believed to have been set up just weeks after giving birth to a daughter, Luzia.

The Kremlin rejected the suggestion that Luiza was the president’s daughter. Putin once said: “I have a private life in which I don’t allow any interference. You have to respect it. »

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