The world now knows the identity of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s younger daughter after a colleague of hers confirmed the information, and she very strongly resembles him.
In an interview with Reuters, World Rock‘n‘Roll Confederation (WRRC) Vice President for Legal Affairs Manfred Mohab was asked whether he knew Katerina Tikhonova was Putin’s daughter, to which he responded, “Yes. I know her, yes of course.” When asked a second time, he nodded and said, “Yes.”
However, Mohab later called the outlet after their report was published to say, “I can’t confirm that I know the daughter of Mr. Putin. I have nothing to do with them,” making this the second time in two years that Reuters has reported on Tikhonova’s relationship with Putin citing a named source and has subsequently been challenged after publication. In 2015, Andrey Akimov, deputy chairman of the board of directors at Russian lender Gazprombank, told them Tikhonova was the Russian president’s daughter. However, he later denied the statement, saying he was “surprised and bewildered” by the quotes attributed to him.
“Believe me, it was so loud in the hall that a lot of the things I can’t understand and other things I felt that I didn’t understand right,” Mohab attempted to explain why he had said Tikhonova was Putin’s daughter. “So it’s not sure that I gave you the right answers. I’m sure we had some misunderstandings.”
Putin has put much effort into guarding his private life from the public eye, keeping Tikhonova and his daughter Maria out of the spotlight. Despite Tikhonova’s identity having been widely assumed, she, her representatives nor the Kremlin have ever confirmed the information. The 31-year-old woman uses a surname inherited from her grandmother and runs publicly-funded projects at Moscow State University while serving as WRRC’s vice president for expansion and marketing. She additionally is very involved in acrobatic rock‘n‘roll and is married to the son of Putin’s closest friend’s son Kirill Shamalov, who has since made at least $1 billion via his work with Russia’s largest petrochemical company.
When asked if Tikhonova’s connection to the president has increased interest in the sport, Mohab said, “Yes, of course. We have an expansion project which is working on all continents and in a lot of countries. And this is all going out from Russia.”