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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

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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