What we know about the daughters of Vladimir Putin, the target of a new wave of US sanctions

According to Washington, the Russian president could use his daughters as nominees to hide part of his fortune and thus escape economic sanctions.

They are the new goals of US sanctions. The latest wave of measures announced by the United States against Vladimir Putin directly targets the daughters of the Russian president. Washington has decided to freeze its assets and its links with the US financial system.

Vladimir Putin has always been discreet about his private life, revealing little information about his two daughters. In 2020, he stated that he did not want to share information about his family, due to “security concerns”, specifying that he had grandchildren anyway.

A year earlier, during a press conference, he did not designate his daughters as such but simply as “women”. A few years earlier, however, he had claimed to be “proud of them” and assured that “they were not involved in any commercial activity” or “in politics”.

Two girls in their thirties

The official biography of the Russian president on the Kremlin website provides other information. In particular, his first daughter, Maria Vorontsova, is said to have been born in 1985 before the family moved to Dresden, East Germany, where Vladimir Putin was sent as a KGB agent. His second daughter, Katerina Tikhonova, was born the following year in this city.

The only photo of the two women shows them as little girls with ribbons in their blond braids. Through some weird comments made over the years, Vladimir Putin revealed that his daughters received their higher education in Russia, speak several European languages ​​and live in his country.

An endocrinologist and a mathematician.

According to some Russian media, Maria Vorontsova is an endocrinologist and works at a large medical research company focused on cancer treatments and has ties to the Russian state. She also heads a Russian-funded genetic research program “personally overseen by Putin,” according to the US Treasury.

For her part, Katarina Tikhonova is identified by Russian media as a mathematician who runs a science and technology foundation affiliated with Russia’s leading state university. Washington refers to her as a “technology leader who supports […] the Russian defense industry.

Russian media also identifies her as a professional acrobatic rock dancer. She even participated in prestigious international competitions.

Putin’s hidden assets

If Katarina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova are in the crosshairs of US sanctions, it is because Washington suspects that Vladimir Putin is using them to circumvent US sanctions by using them as nominees to hide part of his fortune abroad, the exact value of which is unknown to the authorities. Americans. .

“We believe that many of Putin’s assets are hidden through his family members, and that is why we are targeting them,” a senior US official said.

In concrete terms, the US Treasury will seize everything they own in the United States, that is, their bank accounts but also, in their case, their villas, their yachts or even their works of art. Vladimir Putin has already been sanctioned in this way at the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

New European sanctions?

Washington also announced that the same treatment would apply to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s wife and daughter, Maria Lavrova and Yekaterina Vinokurova, as well as members of the Russian Security Council, including former President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

“The families of these oligarchs will not be allowed to keep their wealth in the United States or Europe, they will not be able to keep their multi-hundred million dollar yachts or their luxurious vacation homes while children in Ukraine are being murdered.” or forced to leave their homes every day,” said Joe Biden.

The European Union could also tighten its sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s entourage. His two daughters are on a new sanctions blacklist being considered by representatives of the 27. The ambassadors will meet again on Thursday in view of a deal, the diplomats say.

Antoine Heulard, Emilie Roussey, AFP

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