Daughters of Kremlin’s ultra-rich elite debut at 18th Vienna Ball in Moscow – a stepping stone to life at the top of Russian society

  • Hundreds of Russian socialites debuted at the 18th Vienna Charity Ball in Gostiny Dvor, Moscow on Saturday
  • Young women, aged 16-23, donned stunning white gowns and tiaras and were paired with a dance partner
  • Event has previously seen the debut of several Kremlin’s ultra-rich elite daughters, such as Yelizaveta Peskova
  • Among this year’s attendees was 23-year-old Olympic Gold Medal rhythmic gymnast Vera Biriukova

By Lauren Lewis For Mailonline

Published: 07:56 EDT, 31 May 2021

Hundreds of Russian socialites made their debut at the 18th Vienna Charity Ball in Moscow on Saturday. 

The young debutantes, aged 16-23, wore stunning white gowns and tiaras at the traditional event held in the largest ballroom in Moscow – Gostiny Dvor – and were paired with a bachelor to dance the night away.

The event has been known to feature the daughters of many of the Kremlin’s ultra-rich elite including in 2015, Yelizaveta Peskova, daughter of Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov; in 2018, Leonela Manturova, daughter of the minister of industry and trade, Denis Manturov. 

Among this year’s attendees was 23-year-old Olympic Gold Medal rhythmic gymnast Vera Biriukova.

Hundreds of Russian socialites made their debut at the 18th Vienna Charity Ball in Moscow at Gostiny Dvor on Saturday

Hundreds of Russian socialites made their debut at the 18th Vienna Charity Ball in Moscow at Gostiny Dvor on Saturday

The young debutants, aged 16-23, wore stunning white gowns at the traditional event held in the largest ballroom in Moscow - and were paired with a bachelor to dance the night away

The young debutants, aged 16-23, wore stunning white gowns at the traditional event held in the largest ballroom in Moscow – and were paired with a bachelor to dance the night away

This year's young women join a host of Kremlin ultra-rich elite, including Yelizaveta Peskova, daughter of Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, who have debuted at the prestigious event in the past

This year’s young women join a host of Kremlin ultra-rich elite, including Yelizaveta Peskova, daughter of Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, who have debuted at the prestigious event in the past

Saturday's charity event, which sees young women don white dresses and tiaras, was due to take place last year but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Saturday’s charity event, which sees young women don white dresses and tiaras, was due to take place last year but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Each debutante - male and female - is put through a rigorous selection process involving tests on their education, knowledge of foreign languages, manners, and of course, looks

Each debutante – male and female – is put through a rigorous selection process involving tests on their education, knowledge of foreign languages, manners, and of course, looks

The lucky 100 are then put through their paces with dance classes in the run up to the big day, when the women wear white gowns and the men don either full-length tails or military uniforms

The lucky 100 are then put through their paces with dance classes in the run up to the big day, when the women wear white gowns and the men don either full-length tails or military uniforms

The ball also featured Anastasia Chernomyrdina, granddaughter of a former prime minister, Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin, in 2019.  This year, Leonida Malitskaya, Svetlana Gerchet, and Elizaveta Kondrikova were among the debutantes. Saturday’s charity event, which was dedicated to the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven, was due to take place last year but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It usually attracts over 2,000 guests from across the world but this year was scaled back to 1,500. 

Each debutante – male and female – is put through a rigorous selection process involving tests on their education, knowledge of foreign languages, manners, and looks. 

The lucky 100 are then put through their paces with dance classes in the run up to the big day, when the women wear white gowns and the men don either full-length tails or military uniforms.  

Debutants open the ball with a waltz and are then joined by guests who dance polkas, gallops, and waltzes until midnight

Debutants open the ball with a waltz and are then joined by guests who dance polkas, gallops, and waltzes until midnight

After the clock strikes twelve, attendees perform the famous Russian midnight quadrille - a dance that was fashionable in late 18th- and 19th-century Europe. It is followed by tango, foxtrot, jive, quick-step, cha-cha-cha, and rumba into the small hours

After the clock strikes twelve, attendees perform the famous Russian midnight quadrille – a dance that was fashionable in late 18th- and 19th-century Europe. It is followed by tango, foxtrot, jive, quick-step, cha-cha-cha, and rumba into the small hours

The event, which is the highlight of the calendar for young debutants, usually attracts over 2,000 guests, but was this year scaled back to 1,500 because of the Covid-19 pandemic

The event, which is the highlight of the calendar for young debutantes, usually attracts over 2,000 guests, but was this year scaled back to 1,500 because of the Covid-19 pandemic

Tickets for the prestigious night cost up to £500 and debutants are selected based on rigorous tests and their looks

Tickets for the prestigious night cost up to £500 and debutants are selected based on rigorous tests and their looks

Debutants and bachelors dance the night away to a variety of music. The event is intended to encourage youngsters to engage in classical culture

Debutants and bachelors dance the night away to a variety of music. The event is intended to encourage youngsters to engage in classical culture

Offspring of Russia's elite take a group photo at the Viennese Ball at Gostiny Dvor, the largest hall in Moscow, on Saturday night

Offspring of Russia’s elite take a group photo at the Viennese Ball at Gostiny Dvor, the largest hall in Moscow, on Saturday night

Debutants open the ball with a waltz and are then joined by guests who dance polkas, gallops, and waltzes until midnight. 

After the clock strikes twelve, attendees perform the famous Russian midnight quadrille followed by tango, foxtrot, jive, quick-step, cha-cha-cha, and rumba into the small hours.  Tickets cost up to £500 and proceeds are donated to a chosen charity. 

The event, organised by Tatler, is an opportunity for the new generation of elite offspring to follow in their fathers footsteps and take their place in society. 

Many of the daughters normally stay away from the limelight, avoiding journalists and public events, and instead flood their Instagram profiles with images of lavish holidays. 

Olympic Gold Medal rhythmic gymnast Vera Biriukova at Saturday's ballVera Biriukova collects her gold medal alongside a teammate
Among this year’s attendees was Olympic Gold Medal rhythmic gymnast Vera Biriukova, 23 (Left, at the ball. Right, collecting her gold medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 alongside a teammate)

Vera Biriukova meets Russian President Vladimir Putin after winning gold in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Vera Biriukova meets Russian President Vladimir Putin after winning gold in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Leonida Malitskaya at Saturday's ballLeonida Malitskaya
Among this year’s debutants was Leonida Malitskaya who donned a white gown and tiara for the night out in Moscow’s Gostiny Divor

Svetlana GerchetElizaveta Kondrikova poses with flowers ahead of Saturday's ball
Svetlana Gerchet was another daughter of the Russian elite who made her debut at the ball on Saturday. She wrote on Instagram ‘well that flew by!’ with a video of her at the event. Elizaveta Kondrikova (right), another attendee, poses with flowers ahead of Saturday’s ball

The remain largely silent on issues of politics, corruption, human rights, or the environment, fearing for their family’s position in society if they speak out. But, attending the Viennese Ball clearly takes its toll and several former guests have since risen to the boardrooms of banks and business corporations – or are on their way there. One of the younger Kremlin daughters Yelizaveta Peskova, 23, spent months in Brussels in 2019 working as an intern at the European Parliament after attending the ball in 2015.

Yelizaveta Peskova, 23, spent months in Brussels in 2019 working as an intern at the European ParliamentShe is the daughter of Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov
Caring about her selfie: Yelizaveta Peskova, 23, spent months in Brussels in 2019 working as an intern at the European Parliament. She attended the Tatler ball as a debutant in 2015

 

Peskova is seen dancing with Chechnyan leader Ramzan Khadyrov - who has been accused of torturing and killing gay men in 'concentration camps'The blonde is seen on a boat during one of her many travels abroad showcased on her popular Instagram account
Peskova is seen dancing with Chechnyan leader Ramzan Khadyrov (left) – who has been accused of torturing and killing gay men in ‘concentration camps’. Right: The blonde is seen on a boat during one of her many travels abroad showcased on her popular Instagram account

ther notable daughters who have debuted at the ball since it started in 2003, include Leonela Manturova, 26Manturova attended the ball as a debutant in 2018. The 26-year-old Russian beauty has since been seen soaking up rays on the beaches of Bali, Indonesia
Other notable daughters who have debuted at the ball since it started in 2003, include Leonela Manturova, daughter of the minister of industry and trade, Denis Manturov. Manturova attended the ball as a debutant in 2018. The 26-year-old Russian beauty has since been seen soaking up rays on the beaches of Bali, Indonesia. Her father has served as a minister in Putin’s government since 2012, when he replaced former Putin aide Viktor Khristenko.

Manturova attended the ball as a debutant in 2018. The 26-year-old Russian beauty has since been seen soaking up rays on the beaches of Bali, Indonesia.

Maria's father Igor is a close Putin ally and worked as Russia's deputy prime minister in 2018Maria Shuvalova, 22, a dancer at the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet and daughter of one of Putin's closest allies, earned £22million in the year 2018.
Another such case is Maria Shuvalova, 22, a danсer at the world famous Bolshoi Ballet, and the daughter of Igor Shuvalov, the boss of Russia’s powerful state development corporation VEB.RF. Bolshoi ballerinas reportedly only earn between $500 and $2,500 a month, but Shuvalova’s earned almost £20 million last year from a mysterious second source. The young ballet dancer rakes in £75,000 a day for her role in ‘capital asset management’ – more than the bosses of Russian giants like energy behemoth Gazprom and largest financial institution Sberbank.

Maria performs for BolshoiMaria Shuvalova

Maria’s father Igor Shuvalov is a close Putin ally and worked as Russia’s deputy prime minister in 2018. He is now the boss of Russia’s powerful state development corporation VEB.RF As a dancer for Bolshoi, Maria has travelled across the world in the past two years. Performances featuring the 22-year-old have been held in Cyprus, Portugal, Amsterdam, among other locations.

Despite her busy schedule however, Shuvalova spent January sunning herself at her family’s luxury village in Dubai. ‘Maria is obviously doing well with time management – she manages to rehearse even with her busy travel schedule,’ Russian Tatler said at the time. Former Russian Member of Parliament Gennady Gudkov told The Daily Beast: ‘Most of these young women in their twenties and thirties would have never got their managing positions and big stakes in business companies, if not for their fathers’ powerful connections,’ ‘To stay wealthy and successful, they keep their mouths shut: Every daughter understands perfectly well that once she begins to comment on corruption or human rights her dad with be in the epicentre of a ruinous scandal.’     

The Russian 'capital asset management' firm Maria has been receiving the sum from does not have her listed as an employee

The Russian ‘capital asset management’ firm Maria has been receiving the sum from does not have her listed as an employee

As a dancer at the world-famous Bolshoi, she's danced across the world over the past two years, including in Cyprus, Portugal, Amsterdam, Italy, Bali and Tenerife (pictured with father Igor Shuvalov)

As a dancer at the world-famous Bolshoi, she’s danced across the world over the past two years, including in Cyprus, Portugal, Amsterdam, Italy, Bali and Tenerife (pictured with father Igor Shuvalov)

In a different iteration of Tatler’s ball in November 2019, a host of young Russian socialites gathered in ballgowns and dripping in jewels as they debuted.  The daughters of Russia‘s most influential people dressed up to the nines in showstopping ensembles as they flaunted their wealth at the highly-anticipated event at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Guests included Natalya Gorbunova, stepdaughter of Credit Bank of Moscow billionaire Roman Avdeyev, and Anastasia Chernomydrina, granddaughter of former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.  Other guests included Maria Bordovskikh, daughter of banker Ivan Bronov and TV presenter Yulia Bordovskikh and Katerina Boyarskaya, the granddaughter of actor Mikhail Boyarsky.

Socialites posing at the Tatler Debutante Ball in Moscow in November 2019, including Yelizaveta Yakovleva (pictured top left), granddaughter of actor Yuri Yakovlev, Arina Meladze (top second to left), daughter of singer Valery Meladze, Anna Yunusova (top right), daughter of Stratus Handel & Finanz AG partner Ildar Yunusov, Darya Dronova centre left), granddaughter of Soviet ice hockey player Valeri Kharlamov, Katerina Boyarskaya (centre row second to left), granddaughter of actor Mikhail Boyarsky, Anastasia Chernomydrina, granddaughter of former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin (centre row centre), Maria Bordovskikh (centre row second right), daughter of banker Ivan Bronov and TV presenter Yulia Bordovskikh,  Aleksandra Giner (centre right), granddaughter of FC CSKA President Yevgeny Giner, Natalya Gorbunova (front row left), stepdaughter of Credit Bank of Moscow billionaire Roman Avdeyev, Vasilisa Mikhailova (front row second to left), granddaughter of Soviet ice hockey player Boris Mikhailov

Socialites posing at the Tatler Debutante Ball in Moscow in November 2019, including Yelizaveta Yakovleva (pictured top left), granddaughter of actor Yuri Yakovlev, Arina Meladze (top second to left), daughter of singer Valery Meladze, Anna Yunusova (top right), daughter of Stratus Handel & Finanz AG partner Ildar Yunusov, Darya Dronova centre left), granddaughter of Soviet ice hockey player Valeri Kharlamov, Katerina Boyarskaya (centre row second to left), granddaughter of actor Mikhail Boyarsky, Anastasia Chernomydrina, granddaughter of former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin (centre row centre), Maria Bordovskikh (centre row second right), daughter of banker Ivan Bronov and TV presenter Yulia Bordovskikh,  Aleksandra Giner (centre right), granddaughter of FC CSKA President Yevgeny Giner, Natalya Gorbunova (front row left), stepdaughter of Credit Bank of Moscow billionaire Roman Avdeyev, Vasilisa Mikhailova (front row second to left), granddaughter of Soviet ice hockey player Boris Mikhailov 

Blogger Katya Adushkina wore a billowing black metallic gown and sparkling jewels at the Tatler debutante ball in November 2019

Blogger Katya Adushkina wore a billowing black metallic gown and sparkling jewels at the Tatler debutante ball in November 2019

The daughters of Russia's most influential people - including Darya Dronova, granddaughter of Soviet ice hockey player Valeri Kharlamov (pictured) - dressed up to the nines for the November 2019 ball

The daughters of Russia’s most influential people – including Darya Dronova, granddaughter of Soviet ice hockey player Valeri Kharlamov (pictured) – dressed up to the nines for the November 2019 ball

Glamorous debutante Maria Bordovskikh, daughter of banker Ivan Bronov and TV presenter Yulia Bordovskikh, attended the November 2019 event

Glamorous debutante Maria Bordovskikh, daughter of banker Ivan Bronov and TV presenter Yulia Bordovskikh, attended the November 2019 event

The ladies then took to the dance-floor arm-in-arm with their tuxedo-clad dates to waltz in front of a host of glamorous guests as the night got into full swing on November 18, 2019

The ladies then took to the dance-floor arm-in-arm with their tuxedo-clad dates to waltz in front of a host of glamorous guests as the night got into full swing on November 18, 2019

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