A Russian teenager identified as Vladimir Putin’s secret daughter has posted an extraordinary ‘Make love, not war’ message, in the wake of street protests which saw 5,100-plus arrests by heavily armed police.
Elizaveta Krivonogikh, 17, also appeared to show her disapproval of the harsh weekend security force crackdown by highlighting a poster from a 1989 demonstration carrying the message: ‘Let’s melt police rubber batons to make condoms.”
Her poignant postings on social media come amid evidence that many of her generation are actively backing jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s calls for mass demonstrations against her “father”.
Videos showed baton-wielding riot police brutally suppressing the demonstrations in cities across Russia’s 11 time zones with especially ugly clashes in St Petersburg, where Elizaveta lives.
Among those detained then released in Moscow was Navalny’s wife Yulia, 44, who is now due in court and may face a 15-day sentence.
Journalists seeking to cover the unrest were also held.
Protesters shouted ‘Putin is a thief’ and demanded ‘freedom’ from his ‘authoritarian rule’.
A poll showed that 76 per cent at yesterday’s rally in St Petersburg were aged under 35, and almost 40 per cent under 25.
New protests have been called for Tuesday when Navalny – Putin’s best-known critic who was last year poisoned with nerve agent novichok – is due in court and could face a long jail term.
The black-and-white glasnost-era poster shared by Putin ‘daughter’ Elizaveta – also known as Luiza – was from a demonstration against Communist Party repression two years before the Soviet Union collapsed in a revolution against its despotic rule.
The teenager has so far not commented on claims she was born from Putin’s secret extramarital affair with cleaner-turned-multimillionaire Svetlana Krivonogikh, 45, who is now a shareholder with a major Russian bank.
Her mother – also the alleged owner of lavish property in Russia – has remained silent.
Navalny recently highlighted the claims about Putin’s love child, claiming her mother’s rich lifestyle – as well as a £1 billion Black Sea palace he said belonged to Putin – were funded from corrupt use of state money.
The Kremlin has denied corruption, insisted the palace is not Putin’s, and blamed the “provocative yellow press” for “unconvincing epistolary” in relation to the Krivonogikhs.
Russian state TV claimed the palace was owned by Putin’s childhood friend and judo sparring partner, oligarch Arkady Rotenburg, 69, who would convert it into a hotel, and alleged Navalny’s film was an act of “foreign sabotage” from Western secret services seeking to damage the Kremlin leader.
TV anchor Dmitry Kiselyov alleged Navalny’s YouTube film was a piece of ‘Goebbels propaganda’ with ‘cartoon fakes’ that was ‘clearly a German production’.
It was supposed to be a “information bomb about Putin”.
“Navalny’s film about Putin’s palace is a foreign sabotage with not a single word of truth,” said staunchly pro-Kremlin Kiselyov.
“The offscreen text was originally written in English and then badly, with Anglicisms translated into Russian. This was explicitly proved by linguistic expertise.”
He said on his weekly show: “Navalny showed something that didn’t exist, presenting computer graphics as reality, counting on the fact that children or infantile adults these days confuse reality with drawings.
“Navalny lies seamlessly.
“If this uses so much computer graphics and photoshop, where is the guarantee that other documents are real? Who will believe it?”
He claimed: “Putin embodies Russia, its strength and its freedom. There is no paradise in the world.
“But Russia under Putin’s leadership is a sovereign and independent state.”
Moscow strongly rejected Western criticisms of its crackdown, complaining of “crude interference in Russia’s internal affairs”.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken condemned the “persistent use of harsh tactics against peaceful protesters and journalists by Russian authorities for a second week straight”.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called on the Kremlin “to respect people’s right to peaceful protest”.
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Putin’s spokesman accused the West of having “simply tossed in the garbage” the potential to improve relations with Russia by its criticisms.
Russian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Kirill claimed the protests showed young people were “literally going mental and losing all life guidelines”.
He demanded parents instil the ‘right believes’ in their children to overcome the “current crisis of the young generation”.