MOSCOW – An almost 20-year taboo on reporting in Russian news media about President Vladimir Putin's personal life has been somewhat elucidated with an interview broadcast on state television with a woman described as his daughter
Das Interview hinted at a weakening of Putin's steel image and the prospect that his two adult daughters may be immersed in public life.
Russia has no lasting tradition of a first public family and Soviet and post-Soviet leaders have pursued different approaches. Mr. Putin, a former spy, has kept most of his daughters out of sight.
Vedomosti, a Russian newspaper, reported that the interview, which aired on Thursday and aired again on Friday, was the first conversation with Ms. Katerina Tikhonova. In Russian and Western news media, she was widely referred to as the younger daughter of the president, although Putin never publicly recognized her as such.
"A big event in our Byzantium," wrote a Russian in the political opposition Facebook.
The show asked Ms Tikhonova about her work as director of a scientific institute. The show featured a group of scientists developing devices that read brainwaves.
The coverage, which was as rampant as Putin's, portrayed the research as seminal and vital to Russian technology, suggesting an up-and-coming role for Ms. Tikhonova as a master of Russian science.
Her appearance on state television suggests a potential public role for the presidential family, which has been a hot topic in Russian political culture since the Soviet era, and Nina Khrushcheva, a professor of international affairs at the New School in New York. A granddaughter The former Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev said in a telephone interview:
Joseph Stalin kept his family from the public eye, even though he promoted his sons in the army, but in 1959, Mr. Khrushchev traveled through the United States Khrushcheva. President Boris Yeltsin's daughter was a public figure in the 1990s before Putin reversed the course.
The apparent shift in polls in Putin's polls is a way to show that the family is involved in building Russia, and not only Putin is in the Kremlin, "Ms. Khrushchev said. "It should show that his girl, his family, shape the future, science and the future of Russia."
Mr. Putin's youngest daughter, Ekaterina V. Putina, born while her father was a spy in Germany, is now 32 years old. Her mother, Lyudmila Putina, disappeared during the term of Mr Putin, mostly from the public, and the two divorced in 2013, allegedly remarried.
When Ms. Tikhonova is put on television, Ms. Khrushchev says she shows the Russians that "there is more than one Putin working for us."
For the TV show, Ms. Tikhonova was interviewed in front by a computer graphic of a head apparently attached to electrodes. In connection with these devices, she said, "One can truly say that one person simultaneously recognizes the potential of technology and oneself."
The Russian newspaper RBK reported on the role of Ms. Tikhonova at the Innopraktika Research Institute in 2015 and later News Agency Reuters identified Ms. Tikhonova as the daughter of Putin, who lived under a suspected name. State oil company Rosneft has partially funded Ms. Tikhonova's institute, according to The Bell, an independent Russian news site.
The Kremlin refused to comment on the identity of Ms. Tikhonova. During the television program she was identified as the "Director of Innopraktika and Deputy Director of the Institute for Mathematical Study of Complex Systems at the Moscow State University".
Tichonova's marriage to Kirill N. Shamalov, a Russian investor, had raised concerns over potential conflicts of interest when a Russian state pension fund Sibur, a petrochemical company that was partially owned at the time, was a below-market loan Mr. Shamalov granted $ 1.75 billion.
Tikhonova and Mr. Shamalov reportedly split up in Bloomberg News reported. Sibur denied any conflicts when taking out the Pension Fund Loan. The matter is politically sensitive as the Kremlin led this year's lack of pension reserves and retirement age, leading to protests.
In June, Rossiya 1, another state broadcaster, interviewed the woman allegedly Putin's another daughter, who also lives under a suspected name – Maria Vorontsova – about her work as a children's endocrinologist. In 2016, a Russian magazine, The New Times, reported that Ms. Vorontsova was Mr. Putin's older daughter.
In his most comprehensive statement on the secrecy of his daughters, Mr. Putin proposed in 2017 the wish that his grandchildren "live" like ordinary people, "from the public.
" The thing is, you know, I do not want to that they grow up like some royal princes, "he said, answering a question during a television show on television." They need to have a normal environment and interaction with other children, and as soon as I give them their name and age, they will be identified immediately and never left alone. "
Mr. Putin said his daughters are" involved in science and education "and" live a normal day-to-day life. "