Russian leader Vladimir Putin reportedly has a secret lovechild daughter by a housekeeper turned millionaire.
Yelizaveta Valdimirovna, 17, was born of a years-long affair between the strong president and Svetlana Krivonogikh, an investigative news site says.
Sources told Proekt that married Putin and Svetlana started their affair while she was a cleaning lady and that he was the married head of the FSB in the late 1990s.
The couple is said to have split up shortly after Yelizaveta was born in 2003.
She has no father named on her birth certificate and now bears a “striking resemblance” to the 68-year-old, who has two other daughters with his ex-wife Lyudmila Shkrebneva.
Putin declined to comment, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied all knowledge of Svetlana or her daughter.
But information gathered by Proekt suggests that Svetlana was born in Saint Petersburg in 1975, grew up in a modest apartment surrounded by neighbors with links to organized crime.
In the late 1990s she worked as a cleaner in a shop close to her childhood home, while studying at the University of Economics and Finance in the Department of International Economic Relations.
She received her diploma in 2000 and soon after moved with her mother to her new residence in the Kamenny Islands.
Apartments on the island are not for general sale and are inhabited exclusively by people close to Putin, the site reports.
At about the same time, she would have come into possession of valuable stock options, with no benefactor listed in public records.
However, one of her largest shareholdings is in Bank Rossiya, which has ties to Putin and many of his cronies.
Three years later, Svetlana gave birth to daughter Yelizaveta whose middle name – usually derived from the father’s name in Russia – is Vladimirovna, the site reports.
Two sources close to Svetlana said Putin was her mysterious benefactor, and their relationship started sometime in the 1990s and ended in the early 2000s.
It’s not clear exactly when and how the couple met, or why they eventually broke up.
Sometime before 2010, the two are believed to have severed ties completely, the sources said.
However, Svetlana still enjoys her St Petersburg home, along with other properties in Sochi and Moscow, with an estimated total value of $ 11 million.
She is also said to have a majority stake in the Igora Ski Resort, 70 miles north of St Petersburg, Putin’s favorite spot, and another majority stake in the Leningrad Center.