Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refuted a report by Reuters claiming that Katerina Tikhonova, a billionaire acrobatic rock'n'roll dancer, is Russian President Vladimir Putin's daughter, the TASS news agency reported.
“As for who Putin’s daughter is, I cannot tell you anything because I do not have and I am not supposed to have this information. It’s not part of my administrative duties," Peskov said, TASS reported Tuesday.
Putin has kept his two daughters — Katerina, 29, and Maria, 30, — out of the public eye.
A Reuters news agency report published Tuesday identified Tikhonova — head of the Innopraktika Company at Moscow State University and self-proclaimed “spouse” of Kirill Shamalov — as Putin's younger daughter.
Gazprombank's senior executive Andrei Akimov and two senior academic sources confirmed Tikhonova's paternity to Reuters, the news agency reported Tuesday.
"I have already seen Akimov’s denial in which he says he is absolutely surprised with the Reuters information and never said anything of the kind," Peskov said, TASS reported.
Reuters responded to Peskov’s statement, refusing to issue a correction. “Mr. Akimov spoke to Reuters on the record. Our account of what he said is wholly correct, and Reuters stands by its story,” a Reuters spokesperson said, the RBC news agency reported Wednesday.
The Reuters report undermines claims by Putin's supporters that while some of his acquaintances may have amassed fortunes during his 15 years in power, the president has not abused his position to enrich himself and his family.