From 2017 to 2019, Katerina Tikhonova – the youngest daughter of Vladimir Putin – and a little girl flew between Moscow and Munich over 50 times. Munich was, until April, where Igor Zelensky lived while director of the Bavarian State Ballet.
A joint investigation between iStories and Der Spiegel showed that the little girl seems to be their child. She has the name ‘Igorevna' on her passport, a patronymic that corresponds to ‘Zelensky'. She was born in 2017, the time that Tikhonova began to fly regularly to Munich (sometimes together with Zelensky) and the year that she split up with her billionaire husband Kirill Shamalov.
Zelensky resigned from his position in Munich citing family reasons, though later the Managing Director of the Bavarian State Opera, Serge Dorney, said that the true motive was because Zelensky refused to denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “I made him come to the conclusion that he should leave the opera house. He did not make this decision on his own.”
Since Zelensky resigned, his whereabouts, and Tikhonova's, are unknown. A reporter from Der Spiegel, however, found Zelensky's wife still living in their Munich apartment. Yana Serebryakova, a former ballerina with the Mariinsky Theatre, has three children with Zelensky.
Putin has always been secretive about his family, and it is not known for certain how many children he has.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.