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War in Ukraine: who are the daughters of Vladimir Putin, sanctioned by Washington and away from the public?

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The two daughters of Vladimir Putin were sanctioned on April 6 by the United States after the “atrocities” committed in Ukraine. If they have always kept away from the public sphere, Washington is convinced that “Putin’s assets are hidden through members of his family”, according to a senior American official.

The US Treasury has identified Putin’s two daughters as Katerina Tikhonova, “a tech executive who supports Russia’s defense industry,” and Maria Vorontsova, who heads a Russian state-funded genetics research program and ” personally supervised by Putin”.

The official biography of the Russian president, on the Kremlin website, states that Maria was born in 1985 before her family moved to Dresden, in East Germany, where Vladimir Putin, then a KGB agent, had been sent. His second daughter, Katerina, was born the following year in the same town.

Endocrinologist, mathematician and rock’n roll dancer

The only photo of the two women shows them as little girls, with ribbons in their blond braids. Vladimir Putin revealed that his daughters were educated in Russia, speak several European languages ​​and still live in the country today.

But the general public only knows a few snippets of their existence, beyond these few pieces of information. The Kremlin has kept Putin’s family life largely out of the public sphere.

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Maria Vorontsova, according to some Russian media, now works as an endocrinologist and works in a large medical research company, focused on cancer treatments. The latter has close ties with the Russian state.

Katarina Tikhonova, she would be a mathematician and would lead a scientific and technological foundation affiliated with the main state university in Russia.

She would also be a professional acrobatic rock’n roll dancer and would have participated in prestigious international competitions. Videos show her dressed in sparkly costumes, leaning on her partner’s hands before being catapulted into the air.

Absolute discretion

In 2019, at a press conference, Vladimir Putin carefully refused to answer a question about the growing influence of his daughters in business and the ties that unite them with the Russian state.

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He had also referred to Maria Vorontsova and Katarina Tikhonova as “women”, trying hard not to recognize that they were his own daughters.

Several years earlier, during another press conference, Vladimir Putin had nevertheless claimed to be “proud of them”. “They continue to study and work,” he said, adding that they were “not involved in any business activity” or “in politics.”

In 2020, during an interview, the Russian president said he did not want to share any information about his family due to “security issues”.

He had all the same specified having grandchildren, without specifying their number. “They are very good, so nice, I enjoy spending time with them,” he said.

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