Who Are Vladimir Putin's Daughters? Katerina Tikhonova, Maria Vorontsova

The European Union (EU) and the U.S. on Tuesday started readying sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin's two daughters in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. officials said that the Biden administration is expected to announce the sanctions this week, Bloomberg reported.

Putin almost never speaks publicly about his family life but he has two daughters from his marriage to former wife Lyudmila Putina, according to the Kremlin. The EU and U.S. are weighing up sanctioning Maria Vorontsova, 37, and Katerina Tikhonova, 35.

It is not known whether the president has other children, but some reports suggest he may have at least one other from an affair.

In 2020, TASS, Russia's state news agency, said that Putin does not talk about his personal life "as a matter of security and a desire to remain anonymous for his loved ones so they can live a normal life."

However, it became public when in 2013 Putin divorced former Aeroflot flight attendant Putina. Their oldest daughter, Maria, is believed to have been born in 1985 in Leningrad, the city now known as St. Petersburg. Katerina was born a year later when the family was based in Germany when Putin was working as a foreign intelligence officer for the KGB.

Although Putin has never mentioned their names in public, Katerina has spoken to the press several times.

She has been identified as the deputy director for the Institute for Mathematical Research of Complex Systems at Moscow State University, which deals with artificial intelligence, The Washington Post reported. She is also a former acrobatic dancer and has a passion for acrobatic rock 'n' roll.

On March 14, French police detained a pro-Ukraine activist that broke into a €4.5 million ($4.9m) villa on the Biarritz seafront that is used by Tikhonova. Pierre Haffner, the activist, led a group of anti-war protesters into the property.

Vorontsova is more secretive but she is believed to be a pediatric endocrinologist. In March, she separated from Jorrit Faassen, her Dutch businessman husband, according to exiled Russian journalist Sergey Kanev. Kanev is the former editor of The Insider, an investigative outlet that reports on the Kremlin.

Vorontsova studied biology at Saint Petersburg State University and graduated in medicine from Moscow State University in 2011, the New York Times reported.

She co-owns a healthcare investment project where she hopes to construct a state-of-the-art medical center near St. Petersburg, according to Kanev.

The planned sanctions are part of a larger round of measures against high-profile Russians—including oligarchs, politicians and propagandists and their families—and must be approved by all 27 EU members before they can pass.

Newsweek contacted the Kremlin for comment about the sanctions plans.

They come after disturbing reports emerged over the weekend of Russian troops allegedly slaughtering Ukrainian civilians in urban areas outside Kyiv that have been re-taken by Ukrainian forces.

After visiting the city of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country has "conclusive evidence" that Russia committed a massacre there, killing dozens of civilians.

Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova
The EU and U.S. are weighing up sanctioning Russian President Vladimir Putin's two publicly acknowledged daughters, Maria Vorontsova, 37, (left) and Katerina Tikhonova, 35 (right). Youtube