Articles allegedly written by the daughter of Vladimir Putin have been published in scientific journals in the West, despite her facing tough sanctions, it has been reported, prompting criticism on social media.
While her identity is virtually a Russian state secret that has never been publicly confirmed, the Russian president’s eldest daughter is widely considered to be Maria Vorontsova, a pediatric endocrinologist who is 38.
After her father’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the U.S. imposed sanctions including asset freezes against her and Katerina Tikhonova, 37, who is reportedly Putin’s other daughter.
At the time, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would respond to the sanctions in what was seen as a recognition of the pair’s relationship to the Russian president. The U.K, the EU, Japan and New Zealand later sanctioned the women as well.
But independent Russian news outlet We Can Explain (Mozhem Obyasnit) posted on Telegram that the president’s daughter has continued to author articles which have been published in online scientific journals in the U.S. and Switzerland.
An endocrinologist by training, Vorontsova is a candidate of medical sciences, roughly equivalent to a Ph.D. in Western countries. A page on the website of Moscow State University, where she is a medicine graduate, lists articles co-written by Maria Vladimorovna Vorontsova on endocrinology and medicine.
Vladimirovna is a Russian female surname meaning a descendant of Vladimir.
They were published by the U.S.-based The Endocrine Society and the Swiss-based open-access scientific publishing site MDPI, both of which Newsweek has contacted by email for comment.
One article was published shortly before the full-scale invasion and three more after the war started on February 24, 2022.
An unnamed science magazine editor told Mozhem Obyasnit that sanctions do not prohibit publication of research articles in the West, but outlets that do might face a hit to their reputation.
The New Voice of Ukraine shared the story on X, formerly Twitter, posting that that U.S. and Swiss scientific journals “are continuing to publish scientific papers authored by Maria Vorontsova, the eldest daughter of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.”
Pro-Ukrainian X user Bri 2.0 posted in a thread, “How is Putin’s daughter allowed to publish ANY scientific info, ESPECIALLY here in the US or ANYWHERE in Europe?”
The EU sanctioned Vorontsova because of her role as co-owner of Nomenko, a company which is involved in investment projects in Russia’s largely private healthcare and so a beneficiary of government funding.
In May 2022, Russian language news outlet Republic, which is often critical of the Kremlin, reported how screenshots of comments under the handle Maria V—believed to be Vorontsova—were made on the Telegram chat group used by around 170 alumni of Moscow State University’s Medical Department.
The outlet reported that her messages posted under the handle “Maria V”, showed that she did not “directly approve” of the war, but in general backs the Kremlin narrative that Russia “is not an aggressor, but a victim, and is forced to defend itself.”