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Putin's daughter thought her father becoming president was a ‘joke'

Daily Express logo Daily Express 21/03/2023 Rhiannon Du Cann

Over the weekend, the International Criminal Court in the Hague issued an arrest warrant against . The President of has been accused of war crimes, a move US President Joe Biden has supported, including the allegation that Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia. The former KGB agent has now been leader for more than two decades and has been voted the world's most powerful person on multiple occasions such as between 2013 and 2016 by Forbes's readers. But Putin, who was once unknown politically, shocked his family when he became President, leaving his daughter dumbfounded and his then-wife in tears.

Putin's daughter talking, Putin talking © Vesti/east2west news / Getty Putin's daughter talking, Putin talking

Both whom he shares with his ex-wife, Lyudmila Putina, have largely been kept out of the spotlight with very little being known about them.

However, they once each gave an interview when Putin was appointed acting President in 2000 after Mr Yeltsin resigned following a tumultuous career in politics.

The transcript was published in the 2000 biography, First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President Vladimir Putin, which is made up of a collection of interviews with the Russian leader's family, friends and the man himself.

In the interview, the then-14-year-old Katerina reveals that she was completely taken aback when she learned her father was going to become the President of Russia.

Putin's daughter Katerina talking © Vesti/east2west news Putin's daughter Katerina talking Putin and Boris Yeltsin standing together © Getty Putin and Boris Yeltsin standing together

In fact, so surprised was she thought her mother was winding her up.

The 36-year-old former acrobatic dancer said at the time that she "flipped out when I heard that Papa was going to be acting president."

Katerina, who now has a senior position at Moscow State University, added: "When Mama told me this, I thought she was joking. Then I realised that she wouldn't joke about such a thing."

While Katerina may have found it exciting the same cannot be said for her mother who said she "cried for the whole day" when she heard the news.

READ MORE: Russia 'killing parents' in Ukraine as child snatching saga deepens

Putin with his wife at the Taj Mahal © Getty Putin with his wife at the Taj Mahal Putin on holiday with his family © Wikipedia/ Putin on holiday with his family

The 65-year-old had realised that her husband's new role would mean a significant change for the family as she knew that "our private life was over".

Lyudmila, who divorced from Putin "amicably" in 2014, said that the girls already saw their father "more often on television than at home". Putin had been serving as Prime Minister since the year before his new appointment.

She continued: "But he always goes in to see them, no matter what time he gets home. He really loves the girls a lot. Not all men treat their girls as lovingly as he does. And he spoils them. I'm the one who has to discipline them."

Lyudmila was married to Putin for more than three decades although the union had "not been a success" with the former Russian First Lady described as an "unhappy woman", according to Putin's official biographer, Natalia Gevorkyan.

Putin holding his two daughters © Avalon Putin holding his two daughters

Putin has kept his private life under wraps as much as possible, revealing at a press conference in Sardinia, Italy, in 2008 that he has an aversion to people who "go around with their erotic fantasies, sticking their snot-ridden noses into another person's life".

His other daughter, Maria, 37, is a medical researcher who is reportedly married to a Dutch businessman Jorrit Faassen with the couple sharing a child that Putin only sees "very seldomly", according to a 2017 interview with filmmaker Oliver Stone.

He did however make a point of mentioning that his daughters do not work in politics as in an interview in 2017, he said: "My daughters work in science and education, they're not involved in politics anywhere or somewhere else; they have ordinary lives."

Both children were sanctioned by the US Treasury in April last year as it is thought his adult daughters could be in possession of his fortune.


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