Dr Maria Vorontsova, 36, a geneticist, and Dr Katerina Tikhonova, 34, a high-kicking ‘rock’n’roll’ dancer-turned-mathematician, featured recently on state TV as participants of events at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) where their rumoured father was the main speaker.
While neither was identified as being the Kremlin leader’s daughter, it is thought this is an“open secret”. Meanwhile, his suspected third daughter from an alleged extra-marital relationship, Luiza Rozova, 18, a fashion designer and DJ, was making a splash on Instagram. All three are seen as having striking resemblances to Putin. Maria, who is reportedly an expert on dwarfism, was interviewed on Rossiya 24 channel, on Russian efforts to combat rare genetic diseases in children. She explained that “nothing is a panacea” but that “genetic testing can help, for example, in the preconception stage” to “determine if parents are carriers of an unwanted gene”.
She said: “Genetic testing can help at the stage of preimplantation diagnosis with IVF, and can help parents choose a healthy embryo. “This is relevant for parents who have already had a child with a rare disease, genetically inherited. She is said to be married to a Dutch businessman with whom she has a family, making Putin a grandfather. Katerina, deputy director of the Institute for Mathematical Research of Complex Systems at Moscow State University, is likewise a daughter from Putin’s marriage to former Kremlin first lady Lyudmila. Both were born when he was a KGB spy.
Katerina is a former star dancer and ex-wife of Russia’s youngest billionaire Kirill Shamalov, 39. In a forum session she was not identified as Putin’s daughter but a hint was given when she was referred to by her first name and patronymic Katerina Vladimirovna, meaning her father is called Vladimir. She demanded greater investment for “breakthrough technologies” and is known to be a key figure in the Innopraktika Fund, which aims to monetise key scientific advancements. She spoke of the “huge task” of creating a “quantum computer for machine learning and artificial intelligence” and advocated joint action from non-Western countries sympathetic to Russia. “We lack a mechanism to support and develop these investments,” she said. Putin has spoken of Maria and Katerina, but gave no details about their jobs or lives. “They are taking the first steps in their careers, but are making good progress. They are not involved in business or politics,” he said.
“They have never been ‘star’ children, they have never got pleasure from the spotlight being directed on them. They just live their own lives. “They live in Russia … They have never been educated anywhere except Russia. “I am proud of them, they continue to study and are working. My daughters speak three European languages fluently.” He has not spoken about Luiza Rozova, also known as Elizaveta Krivonogikh, born to Svetlana Krivonogikh, 45, allegedly Putin’s ex-lover. Since being ‘outed’ by the opposition media last year, student Luiza has become a social media star with almost 100,000 followers with her own fashion line. She is also in demand as a DJ.
Recently she overcame Covid-19 curbs to go on a trip to Paris, and also shared pictures with bags from Agent Provocateur and Hermes. She did not refer to the forum in St Petersburg, her home city. Luiza has admitted to Russian GQ that she “probably” looks “similar” to a young Putin, but did not confirm the relationship. Putin’s relationship to Svetlana supposedly ended around the time he was first romantically linked to Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Alina Kabaeva, 38, head of a major pro-Kremlin media company. When the story originally broke, Putin’s spokesperson said that the love child allegations were “not very convincing” and “de facto unfounded”. However, this has not prevented widespread speculation. Maria is leading researcher at the National Medical Research Center, for Endocrinology of the Ministry of Health of Russia. At the forum she attended a panel on the future of healthcare. Putin was once told by a BBC Russia reporter that it was an “open secret” that Maria and Katerina were his children, but declined to confirm them as his daughters. Speculation that he has a family with Kabaeva have been met with official denials, but the rumours persist.
Putin has previously said: “I have a private life in which I do not permit interference. It must be respected.”
He deplored “those who with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies prowl into others’ lives”. Kabaeva has reportedly said she had met a man who she loves “very much”.