Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s daughter, Katerina Tikhonova, flew between Moscow and Munich more than 50 times between 2017 and 2019 to see her alleged partner Igor Zelensky, one of Russia’s most successful ballet dancers, according to a new report.
A joint investigation by iStories, a Russian independent media outlet, and German publication Der Spiegel, broke the news on Thursday, citing four sources saying that Zelensky was Tikhonova’s partner.
Zelensky worked in Munich as head of the Bavarian State Ballet. He took the role in 2016 but stepped down in April citing family reasons.
“Leading a ballet troupe requires absolute concentration and efficiency. At present, however, personal, family matters require my full attention and time, which is incompatible with my activities as a ballet director in Munich…Now my family needs my support,” he said at the time.
Serge Dorny, the managing director of the Bavarian State Opera, told pranksters Vovan and Lexus, believing he was talking to the Ukrainian minister of culture, that the cultural institution fired Zelensky because he refused to publicly condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
The joint-investigation revealed that three employees of the Security Service of the President of Russia joined Zelensky, Tikhonova and a two-year-old child, who is believed to be their daughter, on at least one of the flights. The flight in question was a charter flight on December 9, 2019, that landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport before its passengers disembarked at the VIP terminal.
Flight records show that Tikhonova flew this route “more than 50 times” in two years, between 2017 and 2019, the publications reported.
They also cited documents from the Security Service of the President and Tikhonova’s personal security guard, Alexei Skripchak, that were handed over by a source to iStories.
“In Skripchak’s documents there are passports of Putin’s daughter, Zelensky and a girl born in 2017. Tikhonova’s security guard bought them all tickets,” the report said.
The investigation also cited a Der Spiegel source at the Bavarian Ballet, who, when asked about Zelenksy, replied that he was “most likely the partner of Putin’s daughter.”
Journalists went to Zelensky’s Munich address but only found his ex-wife there. Yana Serebriakova, a former ballet dancer, refused to comment. The former couple have three children.
The current whereabouts of Zelensky and Tikhonova are not known. Both publications reached out to them for comment but have not received a response, the report said.
Meanwhile, Putin’s oldest daughter, Maria Vorontsova, is believed to have been taking part in Moscow University alumni Telegram chats.
A blog reported that she “does not generally approve of the war, but generally supports the Russian narrative” whereby Moscow is not the aggressor but a victim that is forced to defend itself.
Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24. Subsequent fighting has killed thousands of people, including many civilians, and displaced millions more.
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