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Vladimir Putin's dark reason for keeping his daughters and grandchildren secret

Vladamir Putin's two adult daughters are among the most closely guarded secrets of the Kremlin, and his grandchildren are even more of a mystery.

The Russian leader has given thousands of interviews over the years but one set of interviews back in the summer of 2017 promised to allow "unparalleled access" to the man it described as the most controversial, dangerous, powerful and influential man in the world.

The televised interviews by Oliver Stone were aired over four nights in the USA and although dodging some of the more tricky questions, a healthy and jovial Putin appeared to speak candidly inside the Kremlin.

Maria Vorontsova (


TV channel Doctor)

In one direct question, Mr Stone asks: "Are you a grandfather yet?" And Putin says yes and nods, he is then asked if he is a good granddad and does he play with them in the garden.

Putin replies: "Very seldomly."

Mr Stone then tells Putin: "You are a very lucky man, two good children."

A smirking Putin replies: "Yes, I'm proud of them," he adds but doesn't offer his interviewer any more details.

Casey Michael from the Kleptocracy Initiative at the Hudson Institute told CNN: "He acknowledged that he was a good family man, but he is more interested in appearing with the Russian Orthodox Church or military situations or riding shirtless on the back of a horse, to project his power, that's power.

"Family in many ways is weakness."

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his ex-wife Lyudmila (


RIA-NOVOSTI/AFP via Getty Images)

Another analyst believes Putin has a darker reason for keeping his family out of the spotlight.

Professor Howard Stoffer from the University of New Haven added: "He doesn't want to be vulnerable to anybody else doing something to him if a lot is known about his family."

Officials in the US and the UK believe Putin has hidden many of his asset with family members.

Speaking in 2015 about his daughters, the Russian leader added: "My daughters live in Russia and studied only in Russia, I am proud of them.

"They speak three foreign languages fluently. I never discuss my family with anyone."

"Every person has a right for their fate, they live their own life and do it with dignity."

They have two grown-up daughters (


AFP via Getty Images)

Putin has two daughters with his ex-wife Lyudmila, 36-year-old Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova who is 35.

Maria studied biology at St Petersburg University and medicine at Moscow State University and is now academic, specialising in the endocrine system.

She co-wrote a book on stunted growth in children, and is listed as a researcher at the Endocrinology Research Centre in Moscow.

BBC Russia also identified her as co-owner of a company planning to build a massive medical centre.

She is married to Dutch businessman Jorrit Joost Faassen, who once worked at Russian state energy giant Gazprom, although they have reportedly separated.

She is said to support her father and has cast doubt over international reporting of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Katerina Tikhonova (


Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Katerina, appeared in the spotlight in 2017 when she came fifth in an international rock and roll dance competition, she later married the same year.

She is now in academia and business and made a brief appearance on Russian state media in 2018 to talk about neurotechnology and also at a business forum in 2021.

In neither case was her relationship to the president mentioned.

Putin remains tight-lipped about his grandchildren and rarely discusses them publicly.

In 2017 he said: "Regarding my grandchildren, one is already in nursery school.

"Please understand, I don't want them to grow up like some kind of royal princes. I want them to grow up like normal people."

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