Vladimir Putin keeps them out of the public eye and is very careful not to talk about them. So who are his daughters who will now be punished by the United States and the European Union?
Something slipped out of it at once. Vladimir Putin, a war promoter, a Kremlin tyrant, a former KGB officer and well-versed in secrecy, spoke openly about his daughters. Although he did not mention their names, everyone knew that he meant Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova. In 2015 that was.
“I am proud of you, you speak three foreign languages fluently,” Putin said at the time. Questions arose at the press conference. Rumors spread that his daughters were studying abroad and moved their lives there. It’s all nonsense, according to the 69-year-old. He stressed that they “live in Russia and study only in Russia,” before adding: “I don’t talk to anyone about my family.”
Putin’s daughter: Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova at an aerobics competition in April 2014 in Krakow, Poland. (Source: imago photos)
And so there it was again: the Secret Service moment. Those who socially mixed with the KGB and rose to the top of the Russian state with the help of shady power games say only what they will say. Putin’s friends, childhood, family, fortune: the Russian ruler has always been a closed book – Here you can read more about it.
But after hundreds of civilians were killed in Ukraine and global outrage over the horrific atrocities of the Bucha war, among other places, the West is increasing pressure on Russia. So, too, for Vladimir Putin. On Wednesday, the United States imposed new sanctions targeting his daughters as well, for the first time. The European Union also wants to put the two women on the sanctions list, EU diplomats confirmed.
What do you know about Maria and Katrina?
The US Treasury statement already provided information about what is considered certain about Putin’s daughters. The United States said Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova is a technical executive whose work supports the Russian government and defense industry. Her sister, Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova, runs multibillion-dollar state-funded, Kremlin-funded programs for genetic research that Putin personally oversees.
Maria Vorontsova: She is the first daughter of Vladimir Putin. (Source: imago photos)
But much did not reach the public during the sanctions. It’s no wonder. There have been many rumors about the two women for years, but one thing is really for sure: Tikhonova was born in 1986, and her sister in 1985. The first-born is 36, and the youngest is 35. They come from Putin’s marriage to his ex-wife Lyudmila, from whom he officially divorced in 2014.
Where do the girls live, work and live permanently? A closely guarded state secret. While other politicians, especially Western politicians, regularly walk around the public stage with their families to campaign for elections, Putin has never brought his children into the spotlight.
Vladimir Putin: Here with his ex-wife Lyudmila Putina in June 2007 on a visit to Germany. (Image source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
“We believe that many of Putin’s assets are hidden with family members and that is why we are targeting them,” a US official said of the new tightening of sanctions. “This action will cut them off from the US financial system and freeze their US assets.” The same applies to the European Union: once the decision is made, neither Maria nor Katrina will be allowed into the European Union and their assets stored there will also be closed. These steps have already been taken against Putin personally.
So there is a lot to suggest that the two women live in Russia. And according to various reports, even close to her father: because both apparently pursue their careers in the Russian capital, Moscow. Putin himself – Legends have been woven around his whereabouts since the beginning of the war – He owns a villa 24 kilometers from downtown Moscow and usually takes the helicopter when he has appointments in the Kremlin.
July 2021, Sochi: Maria at a conference entitled “Genomics dialogues: best practices of laboratories of the Russian Federation and Europe”. (Source: imago photos)
These details are scarce about Maria and Katrina. His eldest daughter, who seems pretty sure, has studied biology at Saint Petersburg University and medicine at Moscow State University. Maria Vorontsova is now an academic and has specialized in the endocrine system. The 36-year-old also gives lectures on the subject. Evidence of this can be found, among other things, in the imaging agency Imago: in July 2021, for example, she appeared as a speaker at an exchange between different scientists in Sochi.
She also co-authored a book on short stature in children. It appears that she is currently working as a researcher at the Endocrinology Research Center in Moscow. From here the path is lost and the information is no longer clear. Vorontsova is said to have been married to Dutch businessman Joret Joost Wassen years ago, and may still be. The former director of the Russian energy giant Gazprom Gurit Vasin worked in Russia for a long time, where he most likely met with Maria. When asked about his private life, he once said: “I am married to a Russian woman and I have children – I’ll leave it at that.”
But shortly after the outbreak of the war, both the British “Daily Mail” and the agency “New TR” reported: the divorce of Vorontsova and Vasin. There is no confirmation for this. What happens to the children together is also unclear.
There was also talk of the divorce of Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova. But that was a long time ago. The 35-year-old is said to have been married to Kirill Shamalov. It is said that the wedding took place in the mid-2000s at an exclusive ski resort near Saint Petersburg. However, the name Shamalov was not known in Russia even before this contact.
Kirill Shamalov: It is said that the Russian businessman has not been with Putin’s youngest daughter for four years. (Source: imago photos)
Because his father Nikolai Shamalo and Vladimir Putin are said to have been good friends for decades, and in the mid-1990s they founded a tight party that still has many reports of corruption and fraud: the so-called Pecha Cooperative Osero. But it seems that Putin’s youngest daughter is no longer with the son of his old comrade in corruption. The marriage between Shamalov and Tikhonova was dissolved in 2018. No later than a year later, the businessman already had another wife, according to an investigative report by Russian correspondent Roman Anin.
It is said that Katerina Tikhonova herself has been active as a dancer for years. Photos show her at aerobics competitions, including in Krakow, Poland, in 2014. According to research by the Russian media group RBC, she now holds an influential position at Moscow State University. The total budget for one of their projects is $1.7 billion. Its board of directors apparently includes old KGB employees and friends of Putin such as Sergey Chemezov, head of the Rostech arms company, and Igor Sechin, CEO of the state oil company Rosneft. In other words, the group in which former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder continues to serve as Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Circa 1989: Vladimir Putin with his daughters Maria and Katerina (Credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire)
Schroeder’s friend in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, has allowed himself to go too far again to make a statement about Maria and Katrina five years after he made his rare public statement about his two daughters. Furthermore, he talked about his role as the head of the family. It was 2020. At that time, Putin explained in an interview that he did not want to comment on his family because of “security problems”, but at the same time let us know that it was his grandfather. However, the head of the Kremlin did not mention the number of his grandchildren. “I have grandchildren, I’m happy,” he said. “They are very good, very cute. I love spending time with them.”