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Does Putin have a family? Who are children Mariya Putina and Katerina Tikhonova - and does he have a wife

The secretive Russian President has dodged questions about his family life for years

Vladamir Putin has always striven to keep his personal life as private as possible - however, as the Russian President continues his attack on Ukraine, questions regarding his family have made their way into the spotlight.

Does he have children, is he married - and what is his relationship with former Olympic rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva who is over 30 years his junior?

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This is everything that we know about Putin’s family.

Who are Mariya Putina and Katerina Tikhonova?

Mariya Putina and Katerina Tikhonova are Putin’s eldest daughters, whom he had in his first marriage to Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya.

Mariya Vladimirovna Putina, also known as Maria Vorontsova and Maria Faassen, is his eldest daughter, born on 28 April 1985 in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) in Russia.

Putina attended Saint Petersburg State University where she studied biology, and, after studying medicine, graduated from Moscow State University in 2011. She went on to become a PhD candidate at the Endocrinology Research Centre in Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, his former wife Ludmila, and daughter Maria enter a Moscow polling station in 2007 (Photo: ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

She specialises in paediatric growth disorders and according to reports, has been listed as Putin’s advisor in genetic engineering.

She is married Dutch businessman Jorrit Faassen and as of 2015, they were reported to be living together in Moscow.

Katerina Tikhonova, also known as Yekaterina Vladimirovna Putina, is Putin’s second daughter, born on 31 August 1986.

She also attended Saint Petersburg State University, where she studied Japanese history, majoring in Asian studies. Tikhonova then went on to graduate from Moscow State University with a specialisation in Japan. She also holds a master’s degree in physics and maths.

In 2020, Tikhonova was named as the head of a new artificial intelligence institute at Moscow State University. Previously, she held a senior position at the university for a number of years, and ran a variety of publicly-funded projects.

Vladimir Putin and his wife arriving at the airport in 2007 (Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Tikhonova is also well known in the world of acrobatic rock’n’roll, a non-Olympic sport which sees either partners or groups perform athletic and acrobatic dance routines. At the 2014 Russian Championship, she and partner Ivan Klimov took second place.

Tikhonova married Kirill Shamalov in 2013, who is the son of Nikolay Shamalov, a co-owner of Rossiya Bank. However it has since been reported in 2018 that the two have separated.

How many children does Putin have?

While Putin had two daughters with his first wife, there are rumours that he has a further four children with retired rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva.

A source told Page Six that she and Putin have “two young boys and twin girls who were born in Switzerland” and that “the kids all have Swiss passports”.

Putin and Kabaeva are alleged to have four children together (Photo: SERGEI CHIRIKOV/AFP via Getty Images)

The source added: “While Putin carries out his assault on the Ukraine, attacking innocent citizens and causing a refugee crisis, his family is holed up in a very private and very secure chalet somewhere in Switzerland - for now, at least.”

Another Moscow source told the Sun: “Putin is an intensely private man. He has been hiding his two adult daughters under fake IDs for years.

“Even now, though he talks about them occasionally, he never names them. If Alina gave birth to his children, her hiding away might be one of the strongest hints pointing to this.

“He is obsessive about the security of his family.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Alina Kabayeva have long been rumoured to be in a relationship (Photo: SERGEI CHIRIKOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Kabaeva disappeared from the public eye in October 2018 amid rumours of the birth of their twins, however she appeared to make a statement last year to wish luck to the Russian women’s gymnastics team ahead of the Olympics.

The written statement was made via the Russian Gymnastics Federation, and Kabaeva herself was neither seen nor heard.

Is he married?

Putin is not currently married, however between 1983 to 2014, he was married to Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya.

Ocheretnaya worked as a flight attendant for the Russian airline Aeroflot prior to her marriage to Putin. The two reportedly met in the early 1980s via a mutual friend, in Saint Petersburg.

On 6 June 2013, it was announced by Putin and Ocheretnaya that they were divorcing in a televised address.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila (Photo: by ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/RIA-NOVOSTI/AFP via Getty Images)

Putin said: “It was a joint decision: we hardly see each other, each of us has our own life.”

Ocheretnaya said: “Our marriage is over due to the fact that we barely see each other.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich is completely submerged in his work. Our children have grown up, each of them is living her own life… And I truly don’t like publicity.”

In April 2014, the Kremlin confirmed that their divorce had been officially finalised.

There have been rumours that Putin is secretly married to Kabaeva, however this has never been confirmed by either party - and the Kremlin has always strongly denied the rumours.

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