Maria Putin, Vladimir Putin’s daughter, flees her home near Amsterdam amid anger. President Putin has come under fire as fury grows over Russia’s suspected involvement in the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines jet Flight 17 over Ukraine, killing 298 people onboard, most of them Dutch.
Maria Putin has become a target of outrage since the July 17 destruction of the jet. “We have not seen her here since the plane went down,” a neighbor of Maria in Voorschoten told Britain’s Mirror newspaper.
Maria Putin’s apartment, which she fled and shares with her Dutch boyfriend, is just 20 miles from the airport where the doomed flight took off for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As she flees underground, Voorschoten Mayor Pieter Broertjes called for her to be deported and Dutch citizens lambasted her and her father on social media. U.S. officials suspect pro-Russian separatists, aided by the Kremlin, brought down the plane with a surface-to-air missile.
The revelations that Vladimir Putin’s daughter has had to flee her Dutch home will cause fury for the Russian president who has always fiercely shielded her from publicity.
Very little is known about the 29-year-old, and her sister Ekaterina, and the president’s spokesman has admitted that Putin demands a “closed system” about his daughters.
As she goes into hiding and flees, here’s what we do know about Russia’s first daughter.
Maria, known as Masha, was born in Leningrad, now St Petersburg, in April 1985 and is named after Putin’s mother. Both Maria and her 27-year-old sister attended German-language schools and St Petersburg State University, where Maria studied biology and Ekaterina majored in Asian Studies. There are no official portraits of them as adults, but a photo of Maria recently popped up on Facebook, where it was grabbed by a Ukrainian news website that re-posted it — infuriating Putin, according to the Central European News photo agency.
Prior to fleeing, Maria Putin has lived with her boyfriend Jorrit Faassen in a penthouse in Voorschoten, an upscale village in the province of South Holland, not far from the Hague, since last year.
Dutch media claimed that Vladimir Putin visited Maria and her partner last year, but this was denied by his spokesman.
Maria Putin is understood to divide her time between Russia and the Netherlands, with the couple remaining very much within Putin’s inner circle. There were reports that Ekaterina planned to wed the son of a South Korean admiral, though her life is shrouded in mystery too. Their upbringing and schooling was hugely disrupted by their father’s various jobs, initially as a KGB spy in East Germany.