Putin’s alleged ex-lover targeted by UK sanctions

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Kiev, Feb 9

One of the Russians targeted by UK sanctions to mark Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiys visit to London is Vladimir Putins alleged former lover, Svetlana Krivonogikh, according to a media report.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced a new round of sanctions against Kremlin connected individuals and military entities involved in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, The Guardian reported.

They include a drone manufacturer, a helicopter parts firm, and an aviation software company.

But what appears to be the most pointed and personal measure concerned Krivonogikh, a Russian national who worked as a cleaner in the 1990s before meeting Putin in St Petersburg, The Guardian reported. The Russian investigative website Proekt claims Putin is the father of Krivonogikh's daughter Luiza.

Putin has two adult daughters with his former wife, Lyudmila. He has not commented on the Proekt story.

In 2021, an offshore leak known as the Pandora Papers had revealed how Krivonogikh grew rich after Putin became Russia's President in 2000. She acquired several properties, including a luxury flat in Monaco bought in 2003, the same year she gave birth to her daughter.

She also became a shareholder in Bank Rossiya, a St Petersburg bank known for its connections to Putin's inner circle, and acquired a stake in the National Media Group. Its publications "consistently promote the Russian assault in Ukraine", the UK Foreign Office said, The Guardian reported.

Krivonogikh also bought an apartment overlooking Monaco's marina for 3.6 million euro via an offshore company, Brockville Development Ltd. A Monaco professional services firm arranged the secret purchase. Its clients include Russian oil trader Gennady Timchenko, who has known Putin since at least the early 1990s, and Petr Kolbin, a childhood friend of the Russian President, now dead.

In 2020, Proekt revealed that Krivonogikh had accumulated a $100 million fortune from her holding in Bank Rossiya, which is used extensively by Putin's former KGB colleagues, The Guardian reported.

--IANS

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