Putin’s daughter has child with choreographer named Zelensky – report

Media investigation claims Tikhonova, who is on EU sanctions list, travels under two names

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s youngest daughter travels under two identities and reportedly has a previously unknown child with the star choreographer named Igor Zelensky.

Katerina Tikhonova was married to Russian billionaire Kirill Shamalov until they broke up in 2017, when she became a regular visitor to Munich where according to investigative platform Istories, she was friendly with Mr Zelensky.

Beginning in 2016 the Russian star choreographer headed the Bavarian state ballet but stood down last month “for family reasons”. He is still registered as living in the city but his whereabouts are unknown.

Drawing on public documents and interviews with unnamed Russian intelligence sources, the Istories platform says Ms Tikhonova, who has been placed on an EU sanctions list, has a second passport under the surname Kuznetsova.

According to the unnamed Russian intelligence sources, Ms Tikhonova used this second passport to travel regularly between Moscow and Munich from 2017.

On a December 2019 flight to Moscow, as well as travelling with her usual bodyguards, Ms Tikhonova reportedly travelled with a one-year-old daughter with the name Igorevna. According to Russian tradition, this would indicate that her father’s name is Igor, though this is not proof of paternity.

Igor Zelensky was born in 1969 and is considered one of Russia’s most successful ballet dancers and choreographers.

Little is known about Mr Putin’s family life. In 2013, he separated from his wife of 30 years, Lyudmila, with whom he had two daughters.

Their eldest, Maria Vorontsova, was born in 1985. She studied biology at St Petersburg university and medicine at Moscow State University.

In rare public remarks in 2015, Mr Putin said that “every person has a right for their fate, they live their own life and do it with dignity”.

“My daughters live in Russia and studied only in Russia, I am proud of them,” he said.

US and EU officials suspect Mr Putin has transferred considerable assets to his family members, making them a legitimate target of sanctions.