Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: Putin’s Daughter Flees The Netherlands Amid Dutch Fury Over Death of 195 Countrymen
By Vittorio Hernandez | July 26, 2014 6:30 PM EST
While the bodies of 51 Dutch citizens killed in the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were being repatriated back to The Netherlands on Thursday, within the same week, Maria Putin fled the country when Dutch found that the daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin was living within their midst.
Russian President Vladimir Putin strokes a Persian leopard during his visit to the Persian Leopard Breeding and Rehabilitation Centre in the Sochi national park near Sochi February 4, 2014. (Reuters)
There were 195 Dutch passengers out of the total 298 people on board the ill-fated Boeing Jet that left Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur who all died from the missile hit that ended in a plane crash in Ukraine.
The 29-year-old daughter of Putin moved to the country in 2013 to live in with her Dutch boyfriend Jorrit Faasen. Their home is on the outskirts of Amsterdam, about 20 miles from the airport.
A neighbour of Faasen said all was quiet in their community until word spread around that Mr Putin's daughter was living in their neighbourhood, the wealthy suburban village of Voorschoten, in a £2-million penthouse flat by the riverside.
"It was all kept quiet for a while ... But once it became known who she was, there was certainly some disquiet. And now this has happened. She is obviously not responsible for her father's actions, but we don't want - demonstrations around here," New York Post quoted the neighbour.
When news spread around of Maria's identity, there was clamour for her and Faasen to be deported from the country. Among those who made such as call was the mayor of the nearby city, Hilversum, Pieter Broertjes, although he later apologised on Twitter.
Other Dutch also spoke against Maria's residency in the country after news of the downing of the Malaysian Airlines jet spread.
The second MH air mishap in four months broke the secrecy that enveloped the lives of Mr Putin's two adult daughters who were educated in German-language schools and at St Petersburg State University. Mr Putin wife divorced him in 2013.
Maria, the older daughter, studied biology, while Ekaterina, 27, majored in Asian studies, according to The Mirror. Maria, also called Masha, was born in the former Leningrad in April 1975 and was named after her paternal grandmother.
The primary school education in Germany was because of Mr Putin's assigned in East Germany before as a KGB spy. The family returned to Russia in 1991 and moved to Moscow in 1991. Maria, then 11, enrolled at the Friedrich Haass German International School.
When their dad became prime minister, the two sisters were withdrawn from their schools and home educated for security reasons.
Ekatarina reportedly is planning to marry the son of a South Korean military officials.
Faasen, 34, is an official of Gazprom and Storytransgaz, both Russian companies. In 2010, he was allegedly mauled by the bodyguards of Russian banker Matvel Urin over a road rage incident.
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