My daughters live in Russia: Putin

My daughters live in Russia: Putin

Sunday, November 23, 2014 4:47 pm

Maria Putin

Maria Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is fiercely protective of his private life, said Sunday that his two daughters — who had reportedly lived abroad with their foreign partners — now live in Moscow.

In a rare glimpse into the Russian ruler’s notoriously secretive family life, Putin told the TASS news agency he tries to meet his daughters Maria, 29, nicknamed Masha, and Yekaterina, 28, known as Katya, every month.

“I have a packed work schedule. Even my daughters I only see once or twice a month, and then I need to pick my moment,” Putin said in an unusually frank interview.

Asked what country his daughters live in, the former KGB officer said: “In Russia, where else?”

“Of course, they live in Moscow. We meet at home,” Putin added.

Maria was forced to flee her home in the Netherlands after a missile allegedly supplied by Moscow downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine killing 298 people, mostly Dutch nationals, according to unconfirmed reports this summer.

The mayor of the Dutch city of Hilversum, which lost several inhabitants in the July 17 crash, called for her to be deported before retracting his “unwise” comments.

Yekaterina Putin

Yekaterina Putin

Ukrainian activists even published photos and the address of her alleged “luxury apartment”, urging people to protest outside.

Yekaterina was reportedly set to marry the son of a South Korean general in 2010 but the rumour was denied by Putin’s spokesman.

Putin is never officially photographed with his daughters and most Russians do not know what they look like, unlike his precedessor Boris Yeltsin’s notoriously high-profile daughter Tatyana Yumasheva, who was one of his closest aides.

– ‘Erotic fantasies’ –

Putin’s own love life has long been the subject of rumours. He was first linked to former Olympic rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabayeva several years before his divorce from his wife of 30 years, Lyudmila, a former Aeroflot stewardess, was announced last year.

In 2008 Moskovsky Korrespondent newspaper reported Putin was about to wed Kabayeva, who is 31 years his junior. The newspaper’s owner closed it shortly afterwards.

“There is a private life in which no one should interfere — I’ve always had a low opinion of those with snotty noses and erotic fantasies who delve into the lives of others,” Putin said at the time.

Kabayeva is now the head of a powerful pro-Kremlin media group, after resigning her seat in the Duma, the Russian lower house of parliament, as an MP for Putin’s United Russia Party.

Lyudmila Putina has all but vanished from public view after their divorce was finalised in April.

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