The daughter of Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu has posted a video of her and her six-month-old daughter wearing the colours of Ukraine’s flag amid a wave of social media fury directed at her over the invasion of Ukraine.
Ksenia Shoigu, 31, has not given her father’s war a strong backing, and has thus far refused to post any Russian propaganda images, symbols or videos widely circulated by other elites on social media.
Rather than posting the ‘Z’ signs emblematic of Kremlin propaganda supporting the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Ksenia instead posted pictures and videos of her with her daughter Milana and has refrained from directly addressing the conflict.
The video suggests she is concerned about the carnage unleashed by her father’s armed forces, though it is not clear whether the colour co-ordination was a mere coincidence or a public relations ploy in light of the ire she has felt online.
A high-flyer in Russia’s financial industry, Ksenia continues to use Instagram, even though her father’s government has branded it ‘extremist’ and blocked access to it on the Russian web.
Rather than posting the ‘Z’ signs emblematic of Kremlin propaganda supporting her father’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Ksenia Shoigu has instead posted videos with her six-month old daughter, wearing yellow and blue
Ksenia Shoigu, 31, has not given the invasion of Ukraine a strong backing, and has thus far refused to post any Russian propaganda images, symbols or videos widely circulated by other elites on social media
A high-flyer in Russia’s financial industry, Ksenia continues to use Instagram, even though her father’s government has branded it ‘extremist’ and blocked access to it on the Russian web
Ksenia is the daughter of Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu, who is leading Putin’s war in Ukraine alongside General Valery Gerasimov
Ksenia is pictured here alongside her father Sergey Shoigu, who has occupied the position of Russia’s defence minister for a decade
In a recent social media post, Ksenia admitted to her life being changed by the war, but did not voice her outright support for her father’s military incursion into the neighbouring country.
‘Life got divided into ‘before’ and ‘after’,’ she acknowledged.
‘Any military actions are a last resort, and it means we didn’t have another way out,’ she claimed weakly, without explaining why the invasion – which her father denied would happen in a face to face meeting with British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on 11 February – was inevitable.
‘I am not ashamed to be Russian. ‘I love my motherland and its people, wherever they live.
‘Today the entire ”civilised” world showed they have one set of standards for themselves, and a completely different one for us,’ she said, in relation to the crippling sanctions levied against Russia and the outpouring of social media hatred.
‘I will keep working and will keep doing what I can – to help, to support those in need, to love and to take care of my family and relatives.’
She posted a picture of herself with baby daughter Milana – the pair wearing the colours of the Ukrainian flag – captioned proudly: ‘We are half a year old today!’.
But the post triggered a flood of anti-war comments, despite the colour scheme.
One from the country her father is invading, said: ‘The mothers of Ukraine beg you to please stop the war.
‘You are a mother!!! Can’t you imagine what our mothers feel when bombs and bullets kill their children. How could you do this to us, why?!’
Another message said: ‘Death to your father!’
She was told: ‘Some babies in Ukraine will never turn six months old, because your father took them to their graves.
‘Be damned. Your children and grandchildren will pay for the mistakes of their fathers.’
In a recent social media post, Ksenia admitted to her life being changed by the war, but did not voice her outright support for her father’s military incursion into the neighbouring country
‘I am not ashamed to be Russian. ‘I love my motherland and its people, wherever they live. ‘Today the entire ”civilised” world showed they have one set of standards for themselves, and a completely different one for us,’ she said, in relation to the crippling sanctions levied against Russia and the outpouring of social media hatred
An undated childhood photo of Ksenia sitting on the knee of her father, Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu
One more told her: ‘Wishing your family and the next generations of it the same pain as every mother and every child feel in Ukraine now.’
Ksenia was asked: ‘Would you send [your daughter] to a special operation when she grows up?’
Another commenter asked: ‘Please tell us how you sleep at night? Does anything bother you?’
Many other social media users pleaded with her to stop her father, who is Putin’s close ally, and regular holiday partner in Siberia.
One said: ‘Stop your father!
‘He must have at least a bit of a human being left in him! You brought so much grief to our land, how would you be able to look your children into their eyes?’
Another told the defence minister’s daughter: ‘The blood of innocent children of Ukraine is on your hands. We will never forgive you.’
Meanwhile, her husband, 31, also continues to use Instagram despite it being branded ‘extremist’ by the Kremlin.
Aleksey Stoliarov – a leading Russian sports and fitness blogger – also posted a recent video in which he was seen working out with blue and yellow equipment.
Ksenia’s husband, 31, also continues to use Instagram despite it being branded ‘extremist’ by the Kremlin (Ksenia pictured with husband Aleksey)
Aleksey Stoliarov – a leading Russian sports and fitness blogger – also posted a recent video in which he was seen working out with blue and yellow equipment (Stoliarov and Shoigu pictured)
Ksenia Shoigu is the latest in a long line of children of Russian elites who have borne the brunt of widespread ire on social media in light of the invasion of Ukraine.
Many of the children have enjoyed a lifestyle of travel, luxury and comfort, and have enjoyed expensive educations in Western schools and universities, despite Putin’s constant criticism of the West and recent speech condemning Russians who ‘want to be part of the highest caste’ of Western opulence.
Earlier this month, 18-yaer-old student Luiza Rozova closed her social media account after being on the receiving end of a wave of trolling over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Rozova is the daughter of cleaner-turned-multimillionaire Svetlana Krivonogikh – part-owner of a major Russian bank and one of the country’s wealthiest women – but she is also rumoured to be Putin’s lovechild.
Since Putin ordered the invasion, Rozova had been deluged with hostile posts, with one saying: ‘Are U sitting in the bunker?? Like a rat?’, while others posted emojis of Ukraine’s flag.
Vladimir Putin’s alleged 18-year-old ‘love child’ Luiza Rozova (pictured in photographs posted to her Instagram) has suddenly closed her social media account after being on the receiving end of a wave of trolling over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
After the wave of trolling, a message on Luiza Rozova’s Instagram account said in Russian: ‘User not found’ (pictured) – suggesting that it had been deleted
Days after Rozova closed her social media accounts, hordes of angry protestors gathered outside the London flat of the stepdaughter of warmongering Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
Polina Kovaleva, has been living a life of luxury in her £4.4 million Kensington property, much to the disgust of people protesting her father’s involvement in the war in Ukraine.
The 26-year-old is reported to be the daughter of Lavrov’s mistress, with activists saying she has benefited from her stepfather’s influence.
Crowds gathered outside her address earlier this month with signs proclaiming: ‘Polina Kovaleva daughter of Russian war criminal Sergei Lavrov launders his money here’.
Others held signs with a picture of her face and the words ‘war criminal’s daughter’ underneath, a reference to her stepfather’s role in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
Kovaleva (pictured) is the stepdaughter of foreign minister Lavrov, who has reportedly been in a relationship with her mother Svetlana Polyakova, 51, for two decades
Protesters outside Polina Kovaleva’s flat in Kensington, with signs calling her a ‘war criminal’s daughter’. Her stepfather Sergei Lavrov is one of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s inner circle
Polina (pictured) has enjoyed a gilded lifestyle in London, which one observer described as a ‘non-stop holiday’. She went to a private boarding school in Bristol before gaining a first-class degree in economics with politics at Loughborough University
MPs called for Kovaleva, who paid for the multi-million pound flat at the age of 21 with no mortgage, to be among hundreds of people sanctioned for having links to the Putin regime.
Polina’s mother is reported to be Svetlana Polyakova, 51, with whom Lavrov has had a relationship since the early 2000s and is said to be his unofficial wife.
Polyakova owns an apartment in Moscow worth £5million. She accompanies Lavrov on every foreign trip and has been on an official aircraft more than 60 times, according to the FBK, the anti-corruption foundation run by the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
She is a powerful member of the Russian foreign ministry described as ‘no ordinary bureaucrat’ in an investigation last year by the respected Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).