Is Putin's Daughter Really Dating Zelensky? Yes, but Not "That" Zelensky

Danielle Letenyei - Author
By

May 19 2022, Published 12:18 p.m. ET

There isn't a relation between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Putin’s daughter’s boyfriend Igor Zelensky, the Daily Mail reports. Igor is a Russian-born ballet dancer who simply shares the same name as the Ukrainian leader.

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The relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughter, Vladimirovna Tikhonova, and ballet dancer Zelensky was recently revealed by the Russian news outlet iStories and German news site Der Spiegel.

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Putin’s daughter and Igor Zelensky met while she was married.

Tiknonova is the youngest daughter of Putin and his ex-wife Lydmila Putina. The former Russian first couple also has an older daughter, Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova. Putin has a daughter, Luiza Rozova, with his ex-lover Svetlana Krivonogikh.

A former competitive acrobatic dancer, Tiknonova now works as the deputy director of the Institute for Mathematical Research of Complex Systems at Moscow State University, reports the Daily Mail.

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Zelensky and Tiknonova have been together since 2017, and the couple reportedly has a two-year-old daughter together. The couple met while Tiknonova was still married to her first husband, Russian billionaire Kirill Shamalov, the Daily Mail reports.

Who is Igor Zelensky?

Zelensky is considered one of Russia’s most successful and famous ballet dancers. He has been leading Germany’s Bavarian State Ballet until recently. He has also performed for the New York City Ballet, the Royal Ballet of Great Britain, and the Bolshoi Theater.

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Zelensky joined the Bavarian State Ballet in 2016, and his contract was until 2026, iStories reports. But he was reportedly fired recently for refusing to publicly condemn Russia for its military aggression against Ukraine, iStories reports.

“We talked with him several times, and I made him come to the conclusion that he should leave the opera. He did not make this decision on his own. We had a conversation with him, and I led him to this conclusion, ” Serge Dorny, the managing director of the Bavarian State Opera, told Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus.

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Zelensky, a Russian national, has a second role as a member of Putin’s National Cultural Heritage Foundations, which builds cultural and educational complexes in Russian regions, iStories reports.

The story of Zelensky’s departure from the German ballet company has a few different iterations. The Daily Mail reports that Zelensky quit the ballet company because he refused to condemn Putin’s war in Ukraine. Yet another version of the story, as reported in The Moscow Times, states that Zelensky retired from the ballet due to “private family circumstances.”

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Putin’s daughter moved to Germany to live with Zelensky.

Despite her father’s condemnation of Russians who live in the West, Tiknonova moved to Germany to be closer to Zelensky. iStories uncovered flight documents that show Tiknonova was regularly flying from Moscow to Munich, where Zelensky lives, until the end of 2019, when she moved to Germany to be with him full time.

In April, the U.S., the U.K., and the Group of Seven Nations imposed sanctions against Tiknonova and Putin’s other two daughters, which froze their assets and restricted their travel to other countries.

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