Vladimir Putin's Daughter Identified After She Backs A $1.7 Billion University Startup

Russian President Vladimir Putin has gone to great lengths to ensure the identify of his daughters remain as secretive as possible. However, it seems the identity of Putin's youngest daughter Katerina is a secret no longer. Katerina is backing a $1.7 billion university start-up project that has thrust her identity into the public eye.

Radio Free Europe reports that the Geneva-based journalist, Oleg Kashin, who claims to have uncovered Putin's daughter's identity, says "her public coming out inevitable." In fact, he says that the $1.7 billion project is so large that it is "impossible" to keep her participation secret.

"This Moscow State University project is too big and to conceal her participation there was just impossible."
Katerina is said to be the director of Innopraktika, the company involved in the project. The goal behind the project is to create "the most useful structure to contribute to the prevention of brain drain" in Russia by building a science building next to the Moscow State University.

Putin has done his best to ensure that his daughters stayed out of the media spotlight. In fact, Putin has made it known that his private life, including information on his former wife and daughters, is not to be placed in the media. It is considered taboo, and he treated the girls' lives as if they were "state secrets." Slate notes that neither Katerina, 28, or her sister Maria, 29, have given press interviews.

According to the report by Kashin, Katerina Putin goes by the name Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova.

"Kashin reported that a woman known as Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova, who has been named as head of an organization working with Moscow State University to develop a large patch of ground near its main building in an affluent area in southwest Moscow, is Putin's daughter Katerina."
Prior to Kashin revealing Katerina's true identity, rumors had been circulating for some time that Katerina was Putin's daughter.
"It had been a popular Moscow rumor for the last half a year or even more. People who had been exposed to this, including myself, either were reluctant to talk about it or were bound by other sorts of obligations."
It is not only Katerina's participation in the $1.7 billion university project that has people talking. Her dance moves are also gaining a lot of attention. Katerina is an acrobatic dancer who has performed in Russian and European competitions. Katerina has some pretty serious dance moves as she finished "sixth at the European championships for acrobatic rock'n'roll in Kaliningrad last year." A clip of her rock'n'roll acrobatic performance can be seen below.

[Photo by Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images]