The business lives of Putin’s daughters, who now face sanctions

For decades, the lives of Vladimir Putin‘s two daughters by his first marriage have been shrouded in mystery. Now sanctions on his children have brought them — and their opaque business dealings — into the spotlight.
The measures against Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, who Putin doesn’t publicly acknowledge as his daughters, is a largely symbolic move since it’s unclear they have significant assets outside of Russia.
Putin had said in a 2011 state-run TV interview that his daughters led “ordinary lives.” “They’re not involved in politics or business, thank God,” he told Channel One television at the time. This appears to have changed in succeeding years, with both daughters stepping into business positions while in academia.
Vorontsova, 36, is an endocrinologist. She is a co-owner of a medical company called Nomeko, focusing on high-tech diagnostics and treatment.
Tikhonova, 35, the younger Putin daughter, was linked to a $1.6 billion project to develop a science center and startup incubator next to Moscow State University. She also headed the elite school’s artificial-intelligence center and its sister fund called the National Intellectual Development Fund. Both are managed by the Innopraktika foundation, which counts Putin associates including Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Gazprombank CEO Andrei Akimov as board trustees.
Tikhonova’s ex-husband Kirill Shamalov made a fortune from investing in petrochemical giant Sibur Holding, with the help of a loan from Akimov’s state-controlled bank. He later sold the shares after they divorced.
Putin, who tightly guards his private life, has said very little publicly about his children with ex-wife Lyudmila. During more than two decades in power, he has given drips of information about where they live, a few of their intellectual interests such as biology and Japanese culture, and that they speak multiple languages.
The daughters have given media interviews, but have not been identified as Putin’s daughters. They have rarely appeared on camera as adults, though Tikhonova was spotted competing in an acrobatic rock and roll competition in Switzerland in 2013.
Lyudmila, a former flight attendant, has so far escaped sanctions that ensnared his allies, companies linked to them and their families.

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