Putin Appeals For Respect For His Family’s Privacy
Russian President Vladimir Putin appealed for privacy for his family on Thursday, saying he feared being candid on the subject could deprive his two grandchildren of a normal childhood.
Putin, who is divorced, has two daughters, Katerina and Maria, and is famously reluctant to discuss them or any aspect of his own personal life.
“As for my grandchildren, somebody already goes to a kindergarten,” said Putin, when asked about his family in a televised question and answer session with voters ahead of a presidential election next year.
“You know, the matter is, I don’t want them to grow up like princes of the blood. I want them to become normal people. And for that, they need ordinary, normal communication with other children.”
For that reason, he said he preferred not to disclose their names and ages.
“They will be immediately identified and they won’t be left in peace and they won’t be left in peace, this will damage the children’s development. Therefore, everything is all right for me and I ask you to understand me correctly (on this) and treat this position with understanding,” he said.
Putin also touched on the subject of his daughters saying that, despite what he called rumours, they both lived in Moscow.
“My daughters work in science and education; they are not involved anywhere in politics or somewhere else. They have ordinary lives.”
Reuters has reported that Putin’s daughter Katerina works in a senior post at Moscow State University and that she has described herself as the spouse of Kirill Shamalov, a shareholder in petrochemicals company Sibur.
Kirill is the son of Nikolai Shamalov, a longtime friend of the president. Shamalov senior is a shareholder in Bank Rossiya, which U.S. officials have described as the personal bank of the Russian elite.
Reuters has also reported that a number of firms and individuals close to the Kremlin were providing support to a project Katerina oversees at the university, and to the All-Russian Acrobatic Rock’n’Roll Federation, in which she is involved.