Elon Musk may have failed to get Vladimir Putin into a chat room on Clubhouse, but one of the Russian president’s alleged daughters has joined the new social network. Late on Tuesday, Louiza Rozova spoke briefly to Andrey Zakharov, one of the journalists who recently outed her as Putin’s supposedly illegitimate daughter. In November 2020, Zakharov and others at Proekt released an investigative report revealing that a minority stake in the enormous Rossiya Bank belongs to a woman named Svetlana Krivonogikh, apparently received thanks to her intimate association with Russia’s president. Proekt also reported that Krivonogikh has a daughter named Louiza Rozova who “looks remarkably” like Putin. Based on a transcript reported by The Village, Meduza summarizes Rozova’s Clubhouse broadcast on Tuesday night.
Before Louiza Rozova’s Clubhouse companions invited Andrey Zakharov into their chat room, she was asked about Putin’s infamous response to Alexey Navalny’s attempted assassination (the president told journalists last December that “they’d have killed him if they wanted to kill him”). Rozova has apparently pondered the moral implications of Navalny’s poisoning (in addition to the origins of the pandemic):
“[…] there’s a society of these rich people who staged all this mess with the coronavirus. And it turns out that they’re killing people. I believe it. But if ordinary people can do it, why then can’t the state do it, too, for good reasons? I won’t say that I support it, but it’s just that it happens and this is the world we’re living in.”
When Zakharov joined the chat room, he introduced himself as the journalist who reported Rozova’s relationship to Putin and then immediately asked her (addressing her as “Liza”) if she is, in fact, the president’s daughter. A friend in the Clubhouse room defended Rozova, saying, “As a journalist, you should realize that she’ll never tell you anything.” Rozova then corrected Zakharov, saying, “My name is Louiza, not Liza.”
After some more back-and-forth, Zakharov told Rozova that he admired the apparent hopefulness of her youth, comparing the promise and optimism of her St. Petersburg education and online activity to the “darkness” and censorship that consumes television and Russia’s old media. “The chance to follow Putin’s daughter, who chats with subscribers, means there’s hope in this country,” said Zakharov, urging Rozova not to “disappoint” people:
“You’re an interesting figure but all this interest is based on the fact that you’re the president’s daughter. You can build your personal brand around this — please keep this in mind. […] Personally, I wish you all the very best. You’re not to blame for who your father is.”
Zakharov then asked Rozova how she’s handled the repercussions of being identified as one of Vladimir Putin’s children. She thanked him for spicing up her life:
“I’d hit a rut in life. Things had stagnated. I’m very grateful that I got this opportunity — that I lit up like this and people saw my account [on Instagram]. I’ve never tried to be popular, but … I’m feeling great, so don’t you worry about me. […] I don’t follow politics at all. I’m busy with the things I like. You thought I’d delete my account? As if! I live my own life and I’m busy with fashion. It’s not the center of my life, but I like it. I’m not going to stop doing everything I was doing because of your investigation. I’m still living the same life and talking to the same friends.
Before Zakharov was booted from the Clubhouse room, he managed to ask Rozova what she thinks about modern Russia. She apparently saw the question as a criticism of her sheltered life and responded accordingly:
“There’s no one answer to any question… You’re right that I live in my own little art-world. It’s true that I live in my own bubble. I don’t watch TV and sometimes I follow the news on Telegram channels, but not really. I watch fashion shows, I buy copies of Vogue, and I love to go to the nearby restaurant and eat tasty pasta, dishing with friends about the latest gossip and investigations.”