The confirmation from a World Rock’n’Roll Confederation (WRRC) official comes two years after it was first disclosed Tikhonova’s relationship to the President and was publicly challenged post publication.
When asked whether he knew Tikhonova was Putin’s daughter, he said: “Yes. I know her, yes of course.” Asked a second time, he nodded and said: “Yes.”
The Kremlin and Tikhonova did not respond to requests for comment.
Andrey Akimov, deputy chairman of the board of directors at Russian lender Gazprombank, told Reuters in 2015 Tikhonova was Putin’s daughter but later denied the statement. Reuters also confirmed her identity through two other sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Putin, a former KGB intelligence officer, is famously guarded about his private life and has fought to keep his two daughters, Maria and Katerina, away from the public eye.
While Katerina’s identity has been widely assumed, it has never been confirmed by Tikhonova herself, her representatives or the Kremlin, which says it does not comment on the private lives of Putin’s close relatives.
Mohab is the first official to publicly identify her relationship to the Russian president since Akimov in 2015.
Tikhonova, who uses a surname inherited from her grandmother, runs publicly-funded projects at Moscow State University and serves as the WRRC’s vice president for expansion and marketing.
Aged 31, she is a major player in acrobatic rock’n’roll, a niche dance discipline she has competed in and helps manage through senior positions at the WRRC and the Russian national federation.
She is also married to Kirill Shamalov, the son of one of Putin’s closest friends, who has since made a fortune of at least $1 billion through dealings in Russia’s largest petrochemical company.