Vladimir Putin has been the head of Russia for more than twenty years. The whole world follows his every move, especially at the time of the invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, only unconfirmed speculations circulate about his personal life. Even knowledgeable Russian journalists and foreign correspondents do not even know how many children he has and with whom.
Among the few officially confirmed facts about the personal life of the head of the Kremlin, almost forty years ago he married Ljudmila Škrebněvová (now married to Očeretná), and in 2014 the couple divorced.
A former flight attendant from the Russian company Aeroflot gave Putin two daughters. The eldest Maria, nicknamed Masha, in Lenigrad in 1985, and a year later Ekaterina or Katya was born in Germany, where Putin worked for the Soviet KGB secret service. They both graduated from a university in Russia without being associated with their father, Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin in the file photo with his first wife. | Photo: REUTERS/Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Pool/Files
“I don’t remember at all when Putin was the head of the FSB (Head of counterintelligence between 1998 and 1999, editor’s note), for example, he knew the name of his wife. It wasn’t until he was elected president in 2000 that the PR team apparently advised him to present himself in a human way. And they wrote a book with the journalists From the first person“, explains Ondřej Soukup, journalist of Hospodářské noviny and former correspondent in Moscow.
“When I worked in Russia as a correspondent, I knew there were three things that were taboo for foreign journalists, otherwise they would fire you. They were Chechnya, Putin’s money and Putin’s family. If someone broke, the retaliation was incredibly harsh.” he said.
The journalist’s words are confirmed by a case dating back to 2008, when Moscow’s only weekly newspaper, the correspondent of Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, published an article stating that Putin is divorcing his first wife and is preparing to marry only a 25-year-old Russian. gymnast Alina Kabayev. Its exploitation was interrupted a few days after the publication of the text.
At the same time, Putin set up a journalist in Sardinia during a press conference with then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. “Of course, I’m aware of the cliché that politicians live in glass houses, but even then there have to be limits… I’ve never liked people who walk around with their erotic fantasies and put their nose in other people’s lives,” he said when asked about an alleged relationship with a famous sportswoman.
Video: “We will be close forever.” The Putins announce to the Russians that they are divorcing
The Putins announce to the Russians that they are going to divorce: “We will be close forever”. | Video: Reuters
In 2015, we were talking about the marriage of the Russian president. It was then that Kabayev was spotted with a gold ring in her hand. According to media speculation, Putin has further descendants with a 38-year-old gymnast. One or two, maybe four – allegedly two Swiss-born daughters and two sons. Neither the relationship with their mother nor the existence of the children, let alone their number, has ever been officially confirmed by the Kremlin. There has been speculation in the halls for several years that the relationship with Kabayeva has already passed and that Putin has a new partner – and with her possibly another child.
Putin is not alone
According to Hospodářské noviny editor-in-chief Ondřej Soukup, the president’s privacy concerns may have their roots in the KGB experience. “Putin learned from an early age that all personal information is misused by an adversary. taken place. he usually knows, the better,” he describes.
At the same time, the president is not the only high-ranking Russian who stubbornly guards his privacy. The personal life of his Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, or the head of Rosneft in Russia, a close associate of Putin, Igor Sechin, is equally mysterious.
Little Vladimir Putin with his mother in 1958. | Photo: Kremlin.ru/Wikimedia Commons
On the other hand, longtime Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov is known to have married former Olympic figure skating champion Tatiana Navkova. Peskov’s daughter Elizaveta, 24, recently caused a stir when she posted a ‘no war’ message on her Instagram account in response to Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, then the deleted.
According to Ondřej Soukup, another possible reason for the frequent secrecy of the children of Russian monarchs is money. “It’s quite common that various possessions are written on them, on a daughter, a son from a first marriage, on mistresses. Another thing is that they often keep their original names. When you try to find them , we don’t know what their mother’s name is, you won’t find them,” says the journalist.
Vladimir Putin in KGB uniform, the photo was taken around 1980. | Photo: Kremlin.ru/Wikimedia Commons
Commentators also point out that Vladimir Putin has never had to face a real opponent in a truly free election, so he never felt the need to walk with his family in front of the cameras, as Western politicians often do. during the election campaign.
A flashy life
The Kremlin admitted the existence of only the first two daughters, although the eight descendants of the Russian president are also unofficially mentioned. From the publication of the book From the first person in 2000, in which a transcript of the only recorded conversation with Masha and Katya appeared, not even many details about the life of Putin’s oldest children are known. And what is suspected, mostly none of the Russian officials confirmed. There are almost no photos available on the internet.
The public mention of children by Putin himself could be counted on the fingers of one hand. In 2015, to the surprise of all journalists, for example, he said he was proud of them, having studied in Russia and speaking several languages. “I never discuss issues related to my family. They don’t discuss business or politics,” he said, adding, ending a rare open moment.
However, both girls are married and Putin admitted being a grandfather five years ago. The eldest Máša is a children’s endocrinologist, it is said that she likes to travel, she lived a lavish life, she married the Dutch businessman Jorrit Faassen and probably lived with him in the Netherlands for a while . His sister Ekaterina Tikhonova (Katya) runs a company that helped rebuild Moscow University’s multi-billion dollar state and defended her degree at the prestigious Lomonosov University three years ago.
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