Katerina Tikhonova was very private about her identity for her entire life, but now pictures of the competitive acrobatic rock n' roll star are going viral after she was revealed to be the secret daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin had been notoriously guarded about his private life, keeping the identities of his two daughters a closely held secret. But this week, an official from the obscure World Rock 'n' Roll Confederation (WRRC) confirmed that Tikhonova, one of the athletes competing in the niche sport, was indeed Putin's younger daughter.
As the New York Post reported, Manfred Mohab told Reuters that he knew Tikhonova through their work together in the confederation. Mohab serves as the organization's vice president for legal affairs, and confirmed in an interview that he knew her as Putin's daughter.
While it had been previously reported that Katerina Tikhonova was Vladimir Putin's secret daughter, this is the first time there is confirmation from an official source. Tikhonova herself has never confirmed her relationship to Vladimir Putin, and the New York Daily News noted that there had been years of denials from Russian officials.As the New York Post noted, Katerina Tikhonova had actually built a name for herself in the dance world.
"At 31, she is a major player in acrobatic rock 'n' roll, a niche dance discipline she has competed in and helps manage through senior positions at the WRRC and the Russian national federation," the report noted. "She is also married to Kirill Shamalov, the son of one of Putin's closest friends, who has since made a fortune of at least $1 billion through dealings with Russia's largest petrochemical company."
The report comes as Vladimir Putin has been increasingly pulled into drama over the 2016 U.S. election. Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation continues to search for possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's campaign, with allegations that Putin ordered Russian interference in the election in order to help Trump and hurt his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Mueller's investigation returned indictments last month and the announcement of a guilty plea for a Trump campaign member who lied to federal investigators about a meeting with Russian officials.
Pictures of Katerina Tikhonova competing in the niche dance sport spread across the internet this week, with many noting her striking resemblance to dad Vladimir Putin.While this week's report identified Katerina Tikhonova as Vladimir Putin's secret daughter, the Kremlin has never officially confirmed her relationship to Putin.