He doesn’t like it when people interfere in his private life: Russian President Vladimir Putin (69) kept his family and friends hidden from the public for years – enabling his daughters, for example, to live a normal life away from the paparazzi, gossip and interviews.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, however, this protective wall has begun to crumble. Western sanctions against Putin’s closest confidants have shed some light on the matter. Because the measures taken in recent months are aimed, among other things, at his daughters, his lover Alina Kabaeva and his ex-wife Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, as well as dozens of oligarchs from his closest circles.
Daughter lived in Holland under a false name
The first cracks in the facade appeared in 2008, as the “New York Times” writes: The Russian President, then 56 years old and in power for eight years, was visiting his closest ally in Western Europe, Silvio Berlusconi (85) , then Prime Minister of Italy. Putin is said to have separated from Ocheretnaya after 25 years of marriage and to have fallen in love with the then 24-year-old Olympic athlete Kabaeva.
“I’ve always had a bad reaction to those who interfere in other people’s lives with their snooty noses and erotic fantasies,” Putin said. The marriage between the two was only officially ended in 2014, and there is still no confirmation of the relationship with Kabaeva.
More on Putin’s secret family
Officially, the former KGB employee has only two daughters from his first marriage, but according to independent Russian news agencies, he is said to have four more children with two other women. But only his recognized daughters were so hidden until the Ukraine war that they were hardly recognized on Russia’s streets – until the USA imposed sanctions on the two in April.
His eldest daughter Maria Vorontsova (36) lived in secret and under a false name in the Netherlands, near Amsterdam, for a long time, according to The New York Times. She was married to Dutch entrepreneur Jorrit Faassen (42) until March 2022. However, Putin and his ex-wife did not even attend the wedding of the two, the couple’s environment had no idea who Vorontsova was actually.
Alleged Putin children move into focus
Jelisaveta Krivonogich (19) keeps appearing in public, posing as Putin’s daughter on social media in order to gain followers. Her face is always hidden. However, Bellingcat journalists recently tracked down her alleged residence, thanks to a data leak from a Russian food delivery company.
She is the daughter of a former Kremlin cleaning lady, Svetlana Kriwonogich (47). Her alleged relationship with Putin made her a real estate baroness, a board member of Putin’s personal bank Rossiya, and a key stakeholder at the Igora ski resort, where Putin’s second daughter, Katerina, was married. Her fortune is estimated at around 100 million euros. In Monte Carlo, where the two are supposed to live, nobody wants to have anything to do with them.
Putin’s lover is said to have lived in Lugano
In Switzerland, too, Putin’s closest circle left traces that only became really visible with the sanctions, as the newspaper writes. In 2015 she is said to have given birth to Putin’s twins in the “Clinica Sant’Anna” in Lugano. “That’s not true,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (54) repeated over and over again. The Swiss clinic did not want to comment on the newspaper.
Kabaeva is said to have lived in Lugano’s Paradiso district with a view of the lake. While the residents of Lugano are certain, others completely deny the Olympic gymnast’s stay. Even in the nearby Russian Orthodox Church, no one claims to have seen her. Which of all these rumors is true and which is not remains unclear. (chs)