Vladimir Putin’s daughter has been dating a new man and his name is sure to leave the Russian President red-faced.
Katerina Tikhonova, 35, is the youngest of Putin’s two daughters from his marriage to former wife Lyudmila Putina.
Katerina is reportedly now the deputy director of the Institute for Mathematical Research of Complex Systems at Moscow State University.
She was previously married to Kirill Shamalov, Russia’s youngest billionaire aged just 40, but the pair split in 2017.
Around that time, she started dating a leading professional ballet dancer and director by the name of Igor Zelensky.
Embarrassingly for Putin, the 52-year-old potential son-in-law shares his surname with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, his bitter rival since Russia launched its “special military operation” in Ukraine back in February.
The fact that Katerina and dancer Zelensky were dating was revealed after an investigation by Russian independent news outlet IStories and Germany’s Der Spiegel.
It has also been revealed that the pair share a two-year-old daughter.
The Ukraine invasion and subsequent western sanctions against Russian nationals have actually stopped Katerina from visiting her partner in Munich.
It appears they were living together in Germany until this year, as the iStories report states: “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 investigation found flight documents relating to “Katerina Tikhonova, Zelensky, a child, nannies, [and] security guards”. Tikhonova was found to have flown to Munich more than 50 times in two years.
The report continued: “By the end of 2019, Katerina Tikhonova apparently got tired of constantly flying to Munich, and she decided to move in with her partner.
“At least, this is indicated by one of the letters in the archive of the guard of Putin’s daughter Alexei Skripchak.”
Zelensky is not believed to be related to the namesake Ukrainian President.
The Russian with Georgian roots quit the Bavarian State Ballet last month, reportedly because he refused to condemn his girlfriend’s dad’s invasion of Ukraine.