A London-based socialite has made the astonishing claim that her husband, the former son-in-law of Vladimir Putin, has stolen their newborn daughter and is hiding her in Moscow.
Zhanna Volkova, a Russian celebrity married to the country's 'youngest billionaire' Kirill Shamalov, says she has been prevented from meeting the baby, born via a surrogate in October.
Ms Volkova claims an associate of her now-estranged husband has warned her off attempting to see the child.
Zhanna Volkova, ha hecho la asombrosa afirmación de que su marido, el ex yerno de Vladimir Putin, ha robado a su hija recién nacida y la está escondiendo en Moscú. Volkova, una celebridad rusa dice que se le ha impedido conocer al bebé, nacido a través de un vientre de alquiler. pic.twitter.com/oQgNbEZQlw— Roberto R. Rodríguez (@Rrodriguez0750) April 3, 2022
Shamalov, whose marriage to Putin's youngest daughter Katerina Tikhonova ended in 2013, is thought to remain close to the president.
Ms Volkova and Shamalov married in 2018 and started trying for a child. After several failed rounds of IVF, they hired a surrogate through a Moscow-based agency.
With the pregnancy approaching its final stages, the relationship with Shamalov broke down and Ms Volkova left for London. She claims she was then cut out of the surrogacy.
The Moscow agency later informed her they no longer had contact with the surrogate carrying her child. 'I was stuck in London with Covid,' she said. 'As soon as I could, I flew to Moscow.'
She went to the vast home they shared on the outskirts of the city. 'I waited for him for three days,' she said. Eventually he came home. 'He told me he has a new girlfriend but he did not want a divorce. He wanted to hurt me.'
Ms Volkova, 44, says Shamalov's lawyers demanded she sign away her rights to see the baby. She refused.
She says she was afraid and took the first flight out of Moscow. 'I heard he named her Anna, though we had agreed on Elizabeth after the Queen. Russian police don't want to know so I'm opening the case here in London.'
Ms Volkova has been told Shamalov is in a relationship with fashion designer Anastasia Zadorina, daughter of a top FSB general.
Last week Ms Zadorina was in Dubai at Shamalov's 40th birthday party.
Ms Volkova now lives in London with her twin sister and a teenage son from a previous marriage.
She is divorcing Shamalov and has a prenuptial agreement worth £45million.
She has only a 3D scan of her child.
'I live with this small picture. I want her to know she has a mother who didn't run away from her. He can keep the £45million. I just want to see her.'
Shamalov did not respond to requests for comment.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.