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Vladimir Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova has a lover called Zelensky – the same name as the Ukrainian president – according to reports.
Sanctions against the 35-year-old – imposed over her father’s invasion of Ukraine – have stopped her regular flights from Moscow to Munich to live with her new man, during which she would be accompanied by Russian secret service guards.
Her new partner – with whom she has a two-year-old daughter – is Igor Zelensky, 52, a leading professional ballet dancer and top director who until recently headed the Bavarian State Ballet.
The revelation comes from an investigation by Russian independent news outlet IStories and Germany’s Der Spiegel.
Previously Katerina Tikhonova, the younger Putin’s two daughters from his marriage to ex-Kremlin first lady Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya, was wed to Russia’s youngest billionaire Kirill Shamalov, 40.
Vladimir Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova (pictured left), 35, has a lover called Zelensky – the same name as the Ukrainian president – according to reports. Pictured right: Igor Zelensky, 52, who is a leading professional ballet dancer and top director
Pictured: Russian president Vladimir Putin is seen with his first family with wife Liudmila and daughters Ekaterina (in Putin’s arms) and Maria (by mother’s side)
They split around 2017 when she started the relationship with the ballet star who was also previously married and has two daughters and a son with choreographer Yana Serebryakova.
Putin has raged against Russians who live their lives in the West – despite his own daughter making frequent trips to Munich with full state support and security to spend time with her boyfriend. Until earlier this year and the war in Ukraine, it appears she was living with him in Germany.
The Stories report said: ‘For two years, from 2017 to 2019, the little girl’s mother had to fly this route — from Moscow to Munich and back — many dozens of times.
‘She lived in Russia, and her daughter’s father lived in Germany, where he directed the Bavarian State Ballet. His name is Igor Zelensky.’
The journalistic investigation found documents proving flights involving ‘Tikhonova, Zelensky, a child, nannies, security guards’. It revealed that over a two year period ‘she flew to Munich, where Zelensky worked, more than 50 times.’
From an anonymous source, the outlet obtained ‘documents from the e-mail of the Security Service of the President and Tikhonova’s personal security guard Alexei Skripchak’.
‘In Skripchak’s documents there are passports of Putin’s daughter, Zelensky and a girl born in 2017. Tikhonova’s security guard bought them all tickets.
‘We do not disclose the child’s name for ethical reasons, it is enough just to say that her patronymic is Igorevna, which corresponds to Zelensky’s name,’ the report said.
Zelensky – who was Russian born with Georgian roots and not believed to be related to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky – quit the Bavarian State Ballet last month, apparently after refusing to condemn Putin’s bloody war in Ukraine.
Igor Zelensky quit the Bavarian State Ballet last month, apparently after refusing to condemn Putin’s bloody war in Ukraine
Pictured: Ekaterina Tikhonova, believed to be the daughter of Russian president Vladimir Putin with his ex-wife Putin’s ‘secret’ daughter Ekaterina Tikhonova performing at Rock’n’Roll Acrobatics World Cup, Krakow, in April 2014
The report said that a Der Spiegel source at the Bavarian Ballet, when asked about his former head, immediately replied that Zelensky was ‘most likely the partner of Putin’s daughter’ even before they had asked about his family ties.
‘By the end of 2019, Katerina Tikhonova apparently got tired of constantly flying to Munich, and she decided to move in with her partner.’ Said the report.
‘At least, this is indicated by one of the letters in the archive of the guard of Putin’s daughter Alexei Skripchak.’
Her partner Zelensky is described as one of Russia’s most successful ballet dancers, a star of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, and the New York City Ballet Company. He was a guest soloist of the Royal Ballet in London.
‘There is no doubt that Mr. Zelensky has leadership experience and ties with the West,’ wrote Kommersant newspaper in 2011.
Katerina Tikhonova was first wed to Russia’s youngest billionaire Kirill Shamalov, 40
In 2016, before assuming his post in Munich, and prior to his relationship with Putin’s daughter, he commented on the fall out from the Russian strongman’s annexation of Crimea.
‘I am not a politician, but they should sit down at the same table and calm down. Art will save the world,’ he said.
There have been long rumours that he had high level patrons in Moscow, but today’s revelation is the first time he has been linked with Putin’s family.
In Sueddeutsche Zeitung in 2021, Zelensky described his weekly routine as follows: on Mondays, like ‘many Munich residents’, he ran in the English Garden, preferred Italian cuisine on Tuesdays, and on Thursdays he bought fresh food at the local market to cook with his family.
Saturday was a family day: ‘First we’ll sleep, and then we’ll head towards Tegernsee. The Bavarian foothills of the Alps are simply beautiful,’ he said.
In 2013, it was reported that Zelensky was sued by Britain’s Royal Ballet after he and his mentee Sergei Polunin walked out of a production.
Polunin is a Ukrainian-born ballet dancer who became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever male principle at the age of 20. He is also known for having a tattoo depicting Vladimir Putin’s face on his chest.
Putin in March hit out at Russians who enjoyed life in the West.
‘I do not condemn those who have a villa in Miami or on the French Riviera, who cannot do without foie gras, oysters or so-called gender freedoms,’ he said.
‘But the problem is absolutely not in this, but in the fact that many of these people, by their very nature, are mentally there, not here, not with our people, not with Russia.’
Igor Zelensky – who was Russian born with Georgian roots and not believed to be related to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky – who has become an iconic war-time leader for the Ukrainian people during Putin’s invasion
In 2013, it was reported that Zelensky was mentee to Sergei Polunin – a Ukrainian-born ballet dancer who became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever male principle at the age of 20. He is also known for having a tattoo depicting Vladimir Putin’s face on his chest (pictured)
The managing director of the Bavarian State Opera Serge Dorney told Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus that Zelensky’s departure from his German ballet was linked to the war.
Dorney evidently thought he was speaking to the Ukrainian culture minister.
‘We talked with him [Zelensky] several times, and I made him come to the conclusion that he should leave,’ he said. ‘He did not make this decision on his own.
‘We had a conversation with him, and I brought him to this conclusion.’
Tikhonova – born when her father was a KGB spy in Germany – is said to be deputy director of the Institute for Mathematical Research of Complex Systems at Moscow State University.
Earlier footage of her shows her as a former high-kicking acrobatic ‘rock’n’roll’ dancer.
She and her elder sister Maria, Dr Maria Vorontsova, a leading researcher at the National Medical Research Center for Endocrinology of the Ministry of Health of Russia.
She has a half-sister Luiza Rozova, 19, daughter of Putin’s ex-lover, cleaner-turned-multimillionaire Svetlana Krivonogikh, 45.
Pictured: Maria Vorontsova, who is believed to be Putin’s first daughter and Katerina’s older sister. Their mother is former Kremlin first lady Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya
Katerina also has a half-sister Luiza Rozova, 19 (pictured), daughter of Putin’s ex-lover, cleaner-turned-multimillionaire Svetlana Krivonogikh, 45
Krivonogikh is now part-owner of a major Russian bank, one of the country’s wealthiest women with an estimated £74 million financial and property fortune.
Zelensky has spoken of his love of London.
‘I have a special attitude to London,’ he said. ‘It became the first city where I went on tour with the theatre at the age of 19.
‘After that, I came here to perform every two years. My premieres in Swan Lake and Le Corsaire took place here.’