Names, Ages and Why He Keeps They Secret

Putin was a flight attendant and had two daughters with Lyudmila Shkrebneva in his first marriage. They were married for over three decades before their divorce in 2013.


Sources: Vladimir Putin, Reuters, Business Insider

Their daughters’ names were Katerina and Maria. Maria was born in Leningrad, 1985. Katerina was born at home in Germany in 1986. Her father was a KGB agent.

Vladimir Putin daughters

Maria and Katerina, taken from their father’s personal archives.


Sources: Vladimir PutinReutersNewsweek

Both girls are named after grandmothers. Maria’s nickname Masha is Katerina, Katerina is Katya.

vladimir putin parents

Putin’s father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin and his mother Maria Ivanovna Shelomova.


Masha and Katya, which are common Russian shortenings to Maria and Katerina, are Masha and Katya.

Sources: Vladimir PutinReutersNewsweek

The girls attended a German school when the family moved to Moscow in 1996. The children were reportedly expelled from school after Putin became acting president. They were then taught at home by teachers.

vladimir putin wife acting president 2000 Lyudmila

After an award ceremony in Gudermes, on January 1, 2000, Lyudmila and Vladimir Putin, then-acting President, applauded during a concert.


Source: Newsweek

Lyudmila claimed that not all fathers love their children as much as he does. This was in an undated quotation on Putin’s government site. “And he has always spoilt them, while I had to discipline them.”

Vladimir Putin Lyudmilla Wife screengrab

Source: Vladimir Putin

One of his early biographers said that Putin gained more political power and his children began to see him less.

Then-Acting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaking to the media, with ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky in the background, in Moscow, 12 August 1999

After a meeting at the Duma, the lower Russian parliament’s house, in Moscow on 12 August 1999, Vladimir Putin, then-Acting Russian Prime Minster, speaks to the media.

STR/AP POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Natalya Geovorkyan, his first official biographer, interviewed him, and his family, in 1999.

After Putin became the prime minister for the first-time, the family was quickly isolated and surrounded with security. she told the BBC.

His daughters told him that they admired and were proud of their father, but it seemed they didn’t get to see him as much as they thought.

Putin’s marriage might also have been loveless. His biographer stated that Lyudmila was not a happy woman and that Putin would not “hold” her.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila (R) pray during an Orthodox Easter service in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral on April 24, 2011 in Moscow. Russia

Vladimir Putin, then-Prime Minister, and Lyudmila pray during an Orthodox Easter Service in Moscow in 2011.

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

“I understood that.” [Lyudmila]She was not a happy lady. She was not happy.” biographer Gevorkyan told the BBCreferring to her interviews from 1999.

Gevorkyan stated that she felt Putin did not love Gevorkyan. She remembered Lyudmila saying, “There are women who men admire. I don’t think I am that kind of woman.” He will not hold my hand.”

Gevorkyan said Lyudmila’s tone was more with respect to her husband.

“I had the feeling that he really loved her,” she said. “And I had the feeling that she wasn’t as loved back.” It wasn’t a happy marriage for her.

2013 was the year that Lyudmila and Putin announced their separation. the BBC reported.

Maria studied biology at college and went on to medical school in Moscow. Katerina studied Asian Studies at college. Both girls were falsely identified at university.

Vladimir Putin wife

Putin and Lyudmila arrive in Rostock, Germany at the airport on June 6, 2007.

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Sources: ReutersNewsweek

Maria, now 37, works as a medical researcher. According to reports, she married Jorrit Faassen (a Dutch businessman), although it’s not clear when.

Vladimir Putin Wife


Sources: ReutersNewsweekBloomberg

Maria and Faassen reportedly have a child — Putin told filmmaker Oliver Stone in 2017 that he was a grandfather. Stone asked Putin if Putin played with grandchild. Putin replied “Very rarely unfortunately.”

vladimir putin oliver stone the putin interviews

“The Putin Interviews” was a series of four episodes that premiered on Showtime May 2017.


Sources: ReutersThe Independent, Bloomberg, Daily Mail

Katerina, meanwhile, lives in luxury apartments and has a lot of money.

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin toasts during an award ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on December 28, 2017.

Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool Photo via AP

Sources: ReutersThe Independent, Bloomberg, Daily Mail

Katerina, now 36, has been an accomplished acrobatic dancer since childhood. She holds a senior role at Moscow State University and is responsible for a $1.7B startup incubator.

Katerina Putin

Katerina Tikhonovna (daughter of Vladimir Putin), dances.

Jakub Dabrowski/Reuters

You can see Tikhonova’s performance at a 2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Competition in Winterthur (Switzerland):


Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg

In 2013, Katerina was married to Russian billionaire Kirill Shamalov. Their wedding took place at Leningrad’s Igora resort.

Kirill Shamalov

Kirill Shamalov, ex-husband of Putin’s daughter Katerina

Reuters/Kommersant Photo/Dmitry Dukhanin

According to Reuters the wedding was highly secure and included a laser display, ice-skating displays, and a mock Russian village. 

Sources: ReutersThe Guardian   

Shamalov enjoyed a successful marriage and accumulated lucrative business interests. They were worth $2 billion when he and Katerina split in 2018.

President Vladimir Putin at the center of a group of businessmen in "Voronezhsintezkauchuk" plant, part of the SIBUR company, in Voronezh. Kirill Shamalov walks to the far right.

Russian President Putin visits “Voronezhsintezkauchuk” plant, part of the SIBUR company, in Voronezh. Shamalov is pictured to the right.

Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg

According to flight records, Katerina had a secret relationship with Igor Zelensky (German ballet star) in 2017 and had a daughter together.

German ballet star Igor Zelensky, pictured in front of a chandelier, in 2014.

Igor Zelensky, the father of Katerina’s baby, is pictured in 2014. In 2016, he was appointed director for the Bavarian State Ballet.

Tobias Hase/picture Alliance via Getty Images

Zelensky was the director of the Bavarian State Ballet as well as the Munich State Ballet. 

Sources: Important Stories, Der Spiegel

Katerina flew secretly to Munich more than 50 time to see Zelensky between 2017-2019, with their daughter.

German ballet director Igor Zelensky pictured with arms raised on stage, with blue lighting behind him, in 2018.

Igor Zelensky performing on stage in Munich, Germany in 2018.

Gisela Schober/Getty Images

The relationshipA 2022 investigation by Important Stories Der SpiegelWe examined Katerina’s flight records and found that she traveled with members Putin’s presidential secret police.

There are currently no photos of the women. Katerina has slightly different first names: “Katerina”, “Katya”, or “Yekaterina,” as well as the last names: “Putina,” Tikhonova,” or “Shamalov.”

Katerina Tikhonova putina vladimir putin daughter

Katerina Tikhonova (L), the daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin dances with Ivan Klimov at the World Cup Rock’n’Roll Acrobatic Competition, Krakow, Poland on April 12, 2014.

REUTERS/Jakub Dabrowski

Sources: ReutersNewsweek

Rumours abound that Putin may have a third child with Alina Kabaeva, a former Russian rhythmic gymnast.

Alina Kabayeva Vladimir Putin

Alina Kabaeva (rhythmic gymnast) is greeted by Putin at a meeting of candidates to the Russian Olympic Team for the 2004 Summer Olympics. It was held at the presidential residence in Novo-Ogaryovo just outside Moscow on March 10, 2004.


Source: New York Post

Both the relationship with Kabaeva as well as the child have not been confirmed.

Alina Kabaeva vladimir putin girlfriend

Putin smiles alongside Russian gymnast Alina Kavaeva during a meeting at the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia on November 4, 2004.


Source: Business Insider

There are also reports that Svetlana Krivonogikh (an ex-cleaning lady) had an affair with Putin, and moved into one the most wealthy neighborhoods of St. Petersburg.

An aerial view of St Petersburg's prestigious Birch Alley, where one of Putin's rumored mistresses was reported to live.

Aerial view of St Petersburg’s Birch Alley, where one rumored mistress of Putin was believed to be living.

Google Earth

Independent Russian outlet ProektReports indicate that the couple had a close friendship from the late 1990s to the end of 2010, which led to the birth and raising of a daughter.

Krivonogikh, a former cleaner, became a billionaire owner of one Putin’s favorite ski resorts. according to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

Krivonogikh is the father of Elizaveta Vladovna Rozova, a 2003-born girl who goes by Luisa. While identity papers don’t identify a father of the child, her middle name refers to “daughter Vladimir”. She has not confirmed any relationship.

A Google Earth image of St Petersburg's elite Birch Alley complex.

Google Earth image of St Petersburg’s elite Birch Alley Complex.

Google Earth

The Proekt investigation made a comment about Elizaveta’s “phenomenal similarity” to Putin and the many connections between Putin’s mother and her daughter, but no relationship was established.

In an interview with Russian GQElizaveta’s facial features were not depicted. She was asked if she looked like Putin. However, she said that she saw a lot of people who look similar to Vladimir Vladimirovich.

Despite this, Katerina made a debut on Russian state television in December 2018 as a biotechnology expert.

putin daughter yekaterina katerina

Katerina Tikhonova, R) on Rossiya 1 December 7, 2018.

Rossiya 1

Source: Business Insider

In June 2021, Katerina addressed a conference that’s considered Russia’s equivalent of Davos — but nobody called her Putin’s daughter, apparently out of fear of reprisal from the Kremlin.

Katerina Tikhonova.JPG

Katerina Tikhonova, deputy director of Institute for Mathematical Research of Complex Systems of Moscow State University, is shown on screen, taking part in a session of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, (SPIEF), on June 4, 2021.

Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

Source: Washington Post

Putin announced that Russia had completed its COVID-19 vaccine in late 2020, but it still needed to undergo clinical assessments. Putin stated that he gave the shot for one of his daughters but didn’t give any details.

Vladimir Putin coronavirus vaccine

Vladimir Putin, Russian President, preside a meeting with members the government via video link at Novo-Ogaryovo State Residence outside Moscow, Russia, August 11, 2020.

Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS

Sources: Business Insider, BBC, Politico

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The incident drew condemnation from around world. Three weeks later, an activist filmed himself in what he claimed was a Biarritz apartment belonging to Katerina’s ex husband. He stated that he wanted to host Ukrainian refugees.

Putin villa biaritz

An image of an activist flying the Ukrainian flag from a balcony of a villa that is linked with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Biarritz (France).

Russia Today

Sources: Insider, The Insider

In April, Maria and Katerina were sanctioned by the US. They claimed they had “enriched their self at the expense of Russian people.”

Vladimir Putin Katerina Tikhonova


A White HouseStatement read: “This action cuts off them from the US financial systems and freezes any assets that they have in the United States.”


Further details were also provided by the US, indicating that their work has close ties with the Kremlin. The White House stated that Tikhonova’s work supports Russia’s government and defense industries, while Vorontsova’s genetics research programs, are personally overseen, by Putin.

The main building of Moscow State University.

The main building of Moscow State University. Tikhonova was the deputy director of the Institute for Mathematical Research of Complex Systems from 2021 to 2021.

Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images

Source: ABC News

The US stated that it believed the women were hiding money for Putin, and that was why it sanctioned them. The Kremlin expressed dismay at the decision, suggesting that it was anti-Russian.

Vladimir Putin

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

“We believe many of Putin’s assets are hidden among family members, and that’s what we’re targeting,” a senior official in the Biden administration stated, according to ABC News.

Putin’s top spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saidThe Kremlin deemed the decision “difficult”, and framed the matter as part of a “rabid Western animosity” towards Russia.

The UK swiftly followed suit, with a raft sanctions on Maria, Katerina, and others in Putin’s inner circle. These sanctions were aimed at limiting their “lavish lifestyles.”

A gated villa belonging to Kirill Shamalov in BIarritz, France. It has a turret and a gabled roof.

The villa was registered in the name Kirill Shamalov (Katerina Tikhonova’s ex-husband) in Biarritz.

Gaizka Iroz/AFP via Getty Images

Sources: Insider, The Press Association

The list of countries that have placed sanctions on Maria or Katerina has only increased since last spring.

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Flags of the European Union are displayed outside the European Commission Headquarters in Brussels


The US, UK, European Union and Canada have all imposed sanctions against women.

Sources: Associated Press, Reuters, Reuters, Japan Times, New Zealand Herald

Katerina was appointed to the top job of overseeing import substitutions in July 2022, just as Russia began to suffer from sanctions.

Putin meets with the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin in Moscow, Russia March 2, 2022

Putin and Alexander Shokhin, head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, in March 2022.

Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters

Tikhonova was appointed to the position at the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP).

Putin critics speculated that the reorganization of RSPP (a key Russian business lobby) was done to help boost the country’s lagging economic. Russia is still heavily dependent upon foreign imports and has suffered from the slews of international sanctions imposed by the war in Ukraine. 

Reporting by the state media on Tikhonova’s appointment, they didn’t mention her relationship with Putin.

Sources: RBC, Fortune

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