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Former banker who fled Russia publishes childhood photos of Putin’s daughters

Source: OpenMedia

Ex-banker Sergey Pugachev, a former Kremlin insider who fled Russia in 2011, has published childhood photographs of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughters on his website. This was first reported by OpenMedia. 

Pugachev’s site features six snapshots of Putin’s daughters — Katerina and Maria Putina — who were photographed along with Pugachev’s sons Alexander and Viktor in the 2000s. 

According to the photo captions, several of the pictures were taken in Pugachev’s home, while a few others were taken at the Kremlin. “Young friendship is forever!!! Alexander Pugachev, Katerina and Maria Putina, and Viktor, 2000s,” one of the photo captions says.

According to OpenMedia, another photo shows Putin’s daughters with the original members of the pop group “Strelki,” which formed in 1997. 

The teenage girls in the photographs resemble Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova, whom media outlets have identified as Putin’s daughters. While Putin has never publicly confirmed these claims himself, he also has yet to deny that he is their father. According to OpenMedia, Pugachev has effectively confirmed that Tikhonova and Vorontsova are Putin’s daughters by publishing these photos.

In 2015, the Financial Times reported that Pugachev showed their correspondent a photo of his sons and Putin’s daughters during an interview (the newspaper did not publish any of these pictures). Pugachev also told FT that his family and Putin’s family were close.

Sergey Pugachev was the Federation Council’s member representing Tuva from 2001 to 2011. He was also the co-founder of Russia’s International Industrial Bank (otherwise known as “Mezhprombank”), which lost its license in 2010. Pugachev fled Russia a year later. He is currently named on an international wanted list in connection with a case over the deliberate bankrupting of Mezhprombank.

After fleeing abroad, Pugachev attempted to sue Russia for $14.5 billion dollars in compensation for lost assets, which he claims were expropriated by the Russian authorities. On June 22, 2020, the Hague International Arbitration Court refused to consider his claim.

Pugachev maintains that he was friends with Putin from the beginning of the 1990s, and claims that he was among the people who helped him rise to power. 

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