Vera Putina, who died at the age of ninety-six, appeared in 1999, declaring that she was the biological mother of Vladimir Putin, whom she said she abandoned when he was an infant. 

In his autobiography, Putin wrote that he was born and raised in St. Petersburg and was the only surviving son of Maria and Vladimir Putin, a factory worker, and former serviceman who served in Stalin’s secret police during World War II. Both parents, he recounted, died of cancer in the late 1990s. 

But the truthful details of his childhood have always been complicated to obtain; the primary source of most of the stories is Putin himself. As a result, the Kremlin has never been able to refute Vera Putina’s claims reasonably. 

Vera Nikolaevna Putina was born on September 6, 1926, in the Ochersky district of Russia. She said that while studying agricultural mechanization at university, she fell in love with mechanic Platon Privalov, from whom she later became pregnant. Still, the woman learned that her lover was already married and wanted to steal the child because his wife could not get pregnant. 

She insisted that her son, Vova, was born on October 7, 1950 — two years before Vladimir Putin’s official date of birth — and raised him in the poor Georgian village of Metekhi, an hour’s drive from the capital, Tbilisi.  

According to her story, Vladimir Putin attended a nearby school from 1959-1960, and in 2008, former local teacher Shura Gabinashvili told The Daily Telegraph that she gave him Russian lessons.  

When Vera married Georgy Ossepakhvili, a Georgian soldier with whom she had more children, her new husband insisted that she give up her firstborn, and she sent him at age nine to live with his parents in Russia. However, A year later, the boy’s grandfather gave him to an orphanage. 

Later, Vera assumed that Putin’s new St. Petersburg “parents,” who were in their forties when the boy was born and whose two older children had died when they were children, had adopted her son. 

Vera learned that her son had joined the KGB and thought she would never see him again. But in 1999, watching TV coverage of the newly appointed Russian prime minister, she immediately recognized Vladimir Putin as her son because he “walked like a duck,” according to the woman. 

Speculation that the Kremlin was trying to cover up her story developed after two journalists who wanted to interview her died under unknown circumstances. The first, Russian journalist Artem Borovik, a Kremlin critic working on a documentary about Putin’s childhood, died in a plane crash at Sheremetyevo International Airport on March 9, 2000. The second, Italian journalist Antonio Russo, was killed the same year while covering the second Chechen war. 

Vera Putina suggested a DNA test to prove her parentage. Still, when she spoke to The Daily Telegraph in 2008, Russia had just launched a large-scale invasion of Georgia in a dispute over the breakaway state of South Ossetia.  

Vera Putina, born September 6, 1926, died May 31, 2023.