Where do Putin’s daughters live? Will Russians be sanctioned by the EU – what does it mean to be sanctioned?


While the Russian President has only ever acknowledged his two eldest daughters, he is thought to have four more children with former gymnast Alina Kabaeva

Russian president Vladimir Putin and his associates have been hit with tough sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine – and now his family are being hit with restrictions.

The US is the latest country to target Putin’s daughters in the latest round of sanctions.

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The strengthening of restrictions on people associated with Putin and Russia comes after horrific images from the Ukrainian town of Bucha showed murdered civilians, with Russian troops accused of committing the atrocities.

This is everything you need to know.

Where do Putin’s daughters live?

Mariya Putina and Katerina Tikhonova are Putin’s eldest daughters, born in 1985 and 1986 respectively.

Putin is highly secretive about his private life, and has only really spoken about his children twice publicly, and even then, he did not name them.

In a 2015 press conference, Putin said that they “studied only at Russian universities” and that they “continue to study and work”. He referred to them again in 2017, where he said that his daughters “are involved in science and in education” and that “they do not interfere in anything, including politics”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), his first wife Ludmila (R) and daughter Maria (2ndL) (Photo: ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2019, Putina issued a rare TV interview with state-owned TV channel Russia 1, in which she said that she is a co-owner and top executive of Nomeko, a multi-million medical firm which is focused on cancer research.

Tikhonova, his second daughter, was named as the head of a new artificial intelligence institute at Moscow State University in 2020.

A source told Page Six that Kabaeva and Putin have “two young boys and twin girls who were born in Switzerland” and that “the kids all have Swiss passports”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) hands flowers to Alina Kabaeva, Russian rhythmic gymnastics star and Olympic prize winner (Photo: SERGEI CHIRIKOV/AFP via Getty Images)

The source added: “While Putin carries out his assault on the Ukraine, attacking innocent citizens and causing a refugee crisis, his family is holed up in a very private and very secure chalet somewhere in Switzerland – for now, at least.”

Kabaeva disappeared from the public eye in October 2018 amid the rumors of the birth of their twins.

She appeared to make a statement last year to wish luck to the Russian women’s gymnastics team ahead of the Olympics, however the statement itself was written and issued via the Russian Gymnastics Federation – Kabaeva herself was neither seen nor heard.

Have his daughters been sanctioned?

On 6 April, the US announced its intention to sanction both Ms Putina and Ms Tikhonova.

President Joe Biden said in a tweet that American sanctions imposed on Russian individuals were strengthened after accusations of war crimes Bucha.

He said: “I made it clear that Russia would pay a severe and immediate price for its atrocities in Bucha.”

According to reports from the Wall Street Journal and Bloombergthe EU is also discussing the possibility of sanctioning Putin’s daughters.

The proposed list from the EU also includes a number of other individuals, including political figures, propagandists and tycoons as well as their family members. The list currently needs to be approved by the EU, and is subject to change.

According to the Financial Times, it is set to add the head of Russia’s biggest bank, Herman Gref, to its sanctions list. The draft list, seen by the news outlet, will also reportedly name Alexander Shulgin, Boris Rotenberg and Said Kerimov, as well as the Russian President’s daughters.

The proposal comes after the EU announced on Tuesday (5 April) its fifth round of sanctions against Russia.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A statement by President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that this fifth package has “six pillars”:

  • First, the EU will impose a ban on coal from Russia, worth EUR 4 billion per year, cutting another important revenue source for Russia
  • Second, a full transaction ban on four key Russian banks which represents a 23% market share in the Russian banking sector, further weakening Russia’s financial system
  • Third, a ban on Russian vessels and Russian-operated vessels from accessing EU ports, with an additional proposed ban on Russian and Belarusian road transport operators
  • Fourth, further targeted export bans, worth EUR 10 billion, in areas in which Russia is vulnerable, including quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, as well as sensitive machinery and transportation equipment
  • Fifth, specific new import bans, worth EUR 5.5 billion, to cut the money stream of Russia and its oligarchs, on products from wood to cement, from seafood to liquor
  • Sixth, a number of very targeted measures, such as a general EU ban on participation of Russian companies in public procurement in Member States, or an exclusion of all financial support, be it European or national, to Russian public bodies

President von der Leyen added that the EU will also be “proposing further listings of individuals”.

She continued: “But this is not all. We are working on additional sanctions, including on oil imports, and we are reflecting on some of the ideas presented by the Member States, such as taxes or specific payment channels such as an escrow account.”

What does it mean to be sanctioned?

The EU describes sanctions as “an essential tool through which the EU can intervene where necessary to prevent conflict or respond to emerging or current crises”.

EU may target government of non-EU countries, as well as companies, group, organisations, or individuals through the following measures:

  • Arms embargoes
  • Restrictions on admission (travel bans)
  • asset freezes
  • Other economic measures such as restrictions on imports and exports
An anti-war sign in the colors of the Ukrainian flag (Photo: DAVID GANNON/AFP via Getty Images)

Since 2014, the EU has progressively imposed sanctions against Russia, initially in response to “the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol and the deliberate destabilization of Ukraine”.

Since 24 February 2022, the EU has massively expanded the sanctions against Russia.

Individual restrictive measures which consist of travel bans and financial measures, such as freezing assets, target over 900 persons and entities “responsible for undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence”.

The EU also states: “Financial measures were also adopted against persons responsible for the misappropriation of Ukrainian State funds, and persons responsible for human rights violations in Ukraine.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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