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Putin's Girls Having La Dolce Vita Break

Published: August 9, 2002 (Issue # 793)


MOSCOW - At the personal invitation of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the two teenage daughters of President Vladimir Putin are frolicking at one of Europe's fanciest sea resorts on monthlong summer vacation.

Maria, 17, and Yekaterina, 16, are swimming, suntanning and sightseeing around Sardinia during the day and spending the night at Berlusconi's luxurious La Certosa summer residence on the northern coast of the island, the Corriera Della Sera newspaper reported this week. Keeping them company is the prime minister's daughter Barbara, who speaks Russian.

A diplomat at the Italian Embassy in Moscow confirmed the report Wednesday.

News of Putin's daughters vacationing on the invitation of one of the richest men in Europe provided a rare insight into the jealously guarded private life of the Putin family. While Putin's wife, Lyudmila, makes occasional public appearances as the country's first lady, Putin has gone to great lengths to keep his daughters out of the limelight.

Maria and Yekaterina grew up in East Germany, where Putin worked as a KGB officer in the 1980s. Maria was born in St. Petersburg and Yekaterina in Dresden.

A Kremlin spokesperson refused to comment on the whereabouts of the president's daughters on Wednesday.

"We only have information about the president's work," the spokesperson said.

The Italian diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Putin's daughters were vacationing in Italy.

"They are in Sardinia. However, there has been no official information about that," the diplomat said.

Maria and Yekaterina Putina are not the only guests at the La Certosa residence. Berlusconi's favorite singer Mariano Apicella is vacationing with them at the prime minister's invitation, Corriera Della Sera said.

The newspaper said Berlusconi is not only relaxing but also trying to lose some weight ahead of the wedding of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's daughter at the end of the month.

The Italian leader had a chance to check out Putin's Bocharov Ruchei summer residence earlier this year when he flew down to the Black Sea resort of Sochi for an informal meeting.

Corriera Della Sera said Barbara Berlusconi cut short a trip to Australia to welcome her Russian friends to Italy. Barbara, who is the same age as Maria, goes to a lyceum in Monza, outside Milan. Upon graduation, she intends to study management at the University of Milan.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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