Putin's family owns lavish mansions in Moscow and France and has spent millions refurbishing them, leaks say

Putin's daughter
Katerina Tikhonova (L), daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, dances with Ivan Klimov during the World Cup Rock'n'Roll Acrobatic Competition in Krakow, Poland April 12, 2014.SHAMALOV REUTERS/Jakub Dabrowski TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
  • Putin's family owns expensive property via offshore companies, according to a Russian investigative outlet.

  • Proekt said the properties are located near Putin's Moscow mansion.

  • The Russian president has long sought to keep secret the vast wealth he and his family own.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gifted valuable properties to family members via a network of offshore firms, an investigation by Russian independent media outlet Proekt found. 

According to the report, the ownership of the properties was established by examining emails by Putin's former son-in-law, Kiril Shamanov, that were leaked to Russian independent media outlets.

The emails reportedly show that Putin bought land close to his Novo-Ogaryovo estate near Moscow and gave it to his adult daughters and their mother, concealing its true ownership.

Putin has long lived on the estate outside Moscow, that Proekt said is fitted out with a bathhouse, a swimming pool, a gym, and a secret railway line. Earlier in the week, a drone attack was downed by Russian air defense systems near the estate, reports claim.

The Russian president is believed to have two adult daughters with his first wife, Lyudmila Shkrebneva, but rarely talks about them and has not confirmed their identities.

They are Maria Vorontsova, an academic, and Katerina Tikhonova, an academic and businesswoman who has also taken part in dancing contests, the US government has said.

Tikhonova in 2013 married Shamalov, the son of a longtime Putin ally, though the two are reported to have separated.

Putin and wife
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ex-wife Lyudmila enter a Moscow polling station, 02 December 2007, to cast their votes in Russia's parliamentary elections.DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP via Getty Images

According to the emails cited by Proekt, Tikhonova's land was registered firstly in the name of an offshore company and then in the name of her then husband, Shamalov. Meanwhile Vorontsova's land was registered in the name of offshore companies.

Proekt said the emails showed that Shamalov and Tikhonova discussed lavish renovations they planned on making to their property, totalling $9 million.

Putin daughter
Katerina Tikhonova, deputy director of the Institute for Mathematical Research of Complex Systems at Moscow State University and daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

The couple ordered a custom-made gilded chandelier for their dining room "which came with a price tag equivalent to that of a small apartment in the suburbs of Moscow - $72,000," the report said.

Another nearby property was reportedly owned by Shkrebneva, Putin's ex-wife, and her new partner, though was registered in Shamalov's name.

As well as the expensive Moscow property, Proekt also reported that Tikhonova and Shamalov owned a mansion in Biarritz, in the south of France, which they lavishly decorated.

Proekt reported that after splitting up with Tikhonova in 2018, Shamalov was abruptly stripped of the Novo-Ogaryovo properties, as well as his 20% stake, worth around $2 billion, in Sibur, an oil and gas firm.

Putin has long shielded his private life from scrutiny, but is believed to also have children with Alina Kabaeva, his mistress.

putin and Alina Kabaeva
Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and his rumored girlfriend and retired rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva (right).Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

Putin's holdings are infamously shadowy and dispersed, and his actual fortune may be entangled with a slew of associates and wealthy Russians, previous reports claim.

The US and other Western nations sanctioned Putin and his adult daughters in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

However, the unknowability of what, exactly, Putin owns makes it difficult to actually gauge what impact a direct sanction would have on his assets, Juliana Kaplan previously reported.

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