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Putin’s daughters make rare appearance at St. Petersburg Economic Forum

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughters rarely make public appearances, but this week they appeared on panels at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, reportedly in their 30s, are Putin’s daughters from his marriage to ex-wife Lyudmila, whom he divorced in 2013 after nearly 30 years of marriage.

Putin has said his daughters work in science and education and that he has grandchildren, but he has never confirmed their names.

Both have attended the annual St. Petersburg forum in the past, but only their youngest daughter, Tikhonova, was a speaker, according to Russian independent news outlet Novaya Gazeta Europe.

Tikhonova, who is a technology executive, made a video appearance on Thursday at a forum about ensuring the “technological sovereignty” of the military-industrial complex. She was listed on the forum as the director general of the National Intellectual Development Foundation (NIDF).

The panel was moderated by television presenter and prominent Putin propagandist Vladimir Soloviev.

Tikhonova was sanctioned by the US and UK in April 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for her work supporting the Russian Ministry of Defense. In her comments at the forum, she spoke about innovation and eliminating the import of technologies related to the civil and military sectors.

The eldest daughter, Maria Vorontsova, who was also sanctioned, spoke in person on a panel on Friday (7) about innovations in biotechnology and bioproduction. Vorontsova, an endocrinologist, was listed as a member of the Russian Association for the Promotion of Science.

Analysts believe that some of Putin’s wealth may be hidden in the bank accounts of family members.

The anti-corruption foundation of late Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny said in January this year that, according to its investigation, Vorontsova earned more than $10 million between 2019 and 2022 as an employee of a medical company. A CNN cannot independently verify this claim.

Putin is very private about his daughters and family life, with some analysts believing it is because he wants to appear powerful and not show vulnerabilities that could be exploited.

The Russian president has previously said that his daughters are not involved in politics and live ordinary lives. Tikhonova reportedly once tried to pursue a career in acrobatic rock and roll.

Vorontsova reportedly married a Dutch businessman and the couple reportedly lived in a $3.3 million apartment in the Netherlands. An eight-bedroom multimillion-dollar villa in Biarritz, France, has been linked to Tikhonova. She was reportedly purchased by her ex-husband, Kirill Shamalov.

The Kremlin has always denied rumors that Putin had more children outside of his former marriage, and that they all apparently live in Western countries.

Source: CNN Brasil

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