Fancy lifestyles and cocktails with glitter Putin’s alleged ‘secret’ daughter played a DJ set at a Moscow night club over the weekend
This past weekend, the Moscow bar Rovesnik hosted its most recent “Zvonok Drugu” (“Phone a Friend”) party, where only non-professional DJs are invited to perform guest sets. Ahead of the event, the nightclub advertised that a “mystery girl from the northern capital” was coming to the party to DJ her first set. Reports quickly followed that the “mystery girl” was Luisa Rozova — the alleged illegitimate daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the party itself, journalists reported increased security and the presence of anti-extremism agents — but the bar’s owner later denied these claims. Here’s what happened at Rovesnik on Saturday night.
Ahead of its “Phone a Friend” on Saturday night, the Moscow bar Rovesnik posted the following announcement on its Instagram: “A mystery girl will come to us from the northern capital to play her first DJ set. We’re expecting all lovers of Beyoncé, Rihanna, fancy lifestyles, and cocktails with glitter.” On its Facebook page, Rovesnik said the mystery girl was named Lusita. The party boasted free entry, albeit with face control and a dress code.
The media hype around what appeared to be an ordinary nightclub event (though one taking place amid a pandemic) increased significantly when it became clear that the party’s guest of honor was Luisa Rozova — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s purported third daughter.
In November 2020, the investigative news outlet Proekt reported that a woman named Svetlana Krivonogikh owns a minority share in Rossiya Bank, which she apparently owes to an intimate relationship with Vladimir Putin. Journalists also discovered that Krivonogikh’s daughter, Elizaveta, bears a striking resemblance to Russia’s president, leading to speculation that this girl is Putin’s illegitimate child. The Kremlin has dismissed these rumors as “tabloid” speculation.
On social media, Elizaveta Krivonogikh calls herself “Luisa Rozova.” After Proekt published its investigation, she gave a number of interviews, but never spoke directly about the allegations of Putin being her father.
Many bloggers and journalists managed to get into the party on Saturday night, and proceeded to post clips of Rozova’s DJ set on social media and share details about what was happening inside the nightclub. Both Open Media and Dozhd (TV Rain) published videos of Rozova’s performance, which featured not only songs by Beyoncé and Rihanna, but also the song “Mokraya” by Quest Pistols Show and Monatik, and “Rhythm of the Night” by Corona.
Eyewitnesses wrote that the party was a hit — the bar was completely packed and the line to get in stretched down the street. Open Media’s correspondent reported that Luisa Rozova was surrounded by personal security guards, who pushed him aside when he tried to get near the DJ booth. In addition, Pussy Riot member Alexander Sofeev wrote on his Instagram story that the bar had been cordoned off by agents from the Anti-Extremism Center (Center E). This was confirmed by two correspondents from Sota.Vision, who said that Rozova arrived at the nightclub in a car with a flashing light and a government license plate, which was registered to a former diplomat from Russia’s mission to the United Nations in New York. Journalists also complained that security removed them from the nightclub under various pretenses. Other party goers were outraged at the stricter face control and the ban on taking photos and videos inside the bar.
After the party, Luisa Rozova herself tagged Rovesnik in an Instagram story: “Thanks for such a friendly welcome! I recommend this place to everyone!” She also thanked Yandex Go for the “extra comfortable taxi to the bar and back.”
During the day on Sunday, Rovesnik posted a detailed video commentary on Instagram, where one of the bar’s co-founders, Alexander Martynov, addressed “all the hype.”
“We called Luisa because we wanted to show that she is an ordinary person, to support her because of the bullying that went on due to the fact that she’s Putin’s alleged daughter. [We were] just curious if she would come or not, [about] what kind of person she is. It turned out that she is no different from you and me, we were pleased to talk with her, she’s an absolutely ordinary, normal person.”
According to Alexander Martynov, Rovesnik’s core values are freedom, democracy, and equality — “when everyone can calmly express their point of view and he will be heard, and not hunted down.” He also added that many of the bar’s employees are unhappy with what’s happening in the country and even attended protest rallies (apparently referring to the recent rallies in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny) and received administrative fines. Back in January, the bar offered discounted shots to raise money for Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation.
Martynov also rejected many of the media reports about what went on during Luisa Rozova’s DJ set. (Sota.Vision maintains that their correspondents were removed from the nightclub for strange, made-up reasons).
“All of these stories that were written about cars with flashing lights and Center E agents around the building — this is all untrue. I personally met Luisa [when she] got of the taxi, an ordinary one. There weren’t any Center E agents there, this is our bar’s security, it’s always there at parties. Because there are a lot of people, we provide security. But yesterday we also called two additional guards to increase security. As for the conclusions of journalists and bloggers: they were taken out [of the bar] for taking pictures with flash, this is prohibited here according to the rules of the establishment. They were warned first and then taken out.
Finally, I would like to say that we have always been and will be a platform that builds the Russia of the future and campaigns for freedom and different points of view. We are trying to do this through good, and not through hatred and some kind of negativity. We always stand for respect for people and ask you to understand our position, if it’s close to you then share it with us.”
Translated by Eilish Hart