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Putin’s Daughters to Attend St. Petersburg Economic Forum

Putin's daughter Maria Vorontsova. @medtechmoscow / VK

President Vladimir Putin’s daughters Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova are scheduled to speak at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) this week, according to the annual event’s program.

Tech executive Tikhonova is among the speakers of a panel discussion on “the defense industry’s role in ensuring technological sovereignty” on Thursday. Washington sanctioned her for work that “supports the Russian defense industry” soon after the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Genetics researcher Vorontsova, meanwhile, is among the speakers of a panel about “innovations and biofabrication” scheduled for Friday, according to SPIEF’s program. Vorontsova is under the same U.S. sanctions as Tikhonova.

Putin has never publicly acknowledged that either Vorontsova, 39, and Tikhonova, 37, are his daughters, and the Kremlin has kept details of their lives a closely guarded secret. This year will mark the first time both daughters will be featured as speakers at SPIEF, according to independent political reporter Farida Rustamova.

Once described as the “Russian Davos” that attracted high-profile guests and investors from across the globe, SPIEF has been boycotted by Western countries since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Bloomberg reported that SPIEF’s list of speakers this year features other children of the Kremlin elite, including the daughter of ex-Defense Minister and current Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu. Kremlin Chief of Staff Anton Vaino’s son Alexander will also speak at the event, as well as the son of close Putin ally Boris Rotenberg.

Political analysts have noted the gradual rise of the children of the Kremlin elite into places of power and influence, with kinship playing an “essential” factor as Putin seeks to renew and rejuvenate the ruling class.

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