From September 2016 to April 2016, the Russian ballet dancer Igor Selenski (52) was the director of the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich. Then he resigned his post. The State Opera said he had to settle a “family matter”.
However, not a word was said in the statement about Zelensky’s sideline activities for a Russian cultural heritage foundation close to Putin.
As research by “Spiegel” and the research platform “IStories” now shows, his proximity to Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin (69) was even greater than previously assumed: Selenski apparently has a relationship with Putin’s youngest daughter Katerina Tikhonova (35).
Ballet dancer gets special treatment for relationship
At least a number of documents available to the “Spiegel” indicate a relationship between the two. These include e-mails from Tikhonova, numerous copies of passports and passenger data from Moscow Vnukovo Airport, which testify to several trips to and from Munich. A copy of Zelenski’s passport from 2013 is also among the documents.
The logical conclusion of the German magazine: Tikhonova and Zelensky traveled together – or at least to each other. A bodyguard of Putin’s daughter even booked Zelenskiy’s flights at least twice. Once on February 24, 2020 from Munich to Moscow and back on March 2, and again on March 9, 2020 to Moscow and back on March 15.
More on Putin’s (secret) family
A former ballet colleague of Selenski told the “Spiegel” that the artist enjoyed special treatment early on. The ex-dancer “should have had something with Putin’s daughter”.
For the anonymous dancer, this is the only reason why Zelensky was able to work at the renowned Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater early in his career. “Zelensky was still very young. There were a lot of good people who would have gotten this job back then.”
Did Putin become the grandfather of Zelensky’s daughter in 2017?
When Selenski was finally appointed director of the Bavarian State Ballet in 2016, Tikhonowa separated from her oligarch husband Kirill Shamalov (40). Between 2017 and 2019, Putin’s daughter Tikhonova is said to have flown to Munich again and again. According to “Spiegel”, she sometimes even visited the Bavarian capital several times a month.
In 2018, Selenski was appointed to the supervisory board of the national cultural heritage fund, which, among other things, wanted to turn the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed in 2014, into a cultural center. Press photos show Selenski next to his father-in-law and alleged grandfather of a daughter born in 2017.
“Moving to Munich”
In addition to the couple’s passport copies, the “Spiegel” also has copies of a girl’s passport, which is probably a previously unknown daughter of Tikhonova. A special feature stands out. The child’s second name is Igorewna. This means that the father of the child is called Igor. Behind this is a Russian tradition of dedicating the second name to the father. Another clue pointing to Igor Zelensky.
In 2019, the couple probably decided that the 2315 kilometers between Moscow and Munich were too much. According to the records, a moving company was hired to pack books. The subject of the e-mail: “Moving to Munich”. Selenski’s two-storey apartment in Munich, however, appears to be empty – at least nobody opened the door when the magazine there tried to speak to him. Neither Tikhonova nor Zelensky responded to inquiries from “Spiegel” and “IStories”. (chs)