The Innopraktika Foundation, headed by Vladimir Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova, has acquired a stake in Geoscan, a company that makes drones allegedly employed against Ukraine, Russian independent sources say.
The independent Russian publications Verstka and The Moscow Times have identified that the National Intellectual Development Foundation, Innopraktika, acquired a 10 percent stake in the Russian drone manufacturer Geoscan, on Nov. 16.
The non-governmental organization is headed by the Russian President’s second daughter, 37-year-old Katerina Tikhonova, who was appointed in 2015 according to a report in Bloomberg. In 2020 she was also put in charge of the newly created Moscow University artificial intelligence institute.
She reportedly graduated from Saint Petersburg and Moscow State Universities with a bachelor’s degree in Japanese studies and a master’s degree in physics and mathematics.
Under her stewardship, the foundation’s size and income almost doubled between 2017 and 2019 after it had secured 36 contracts with government departments and state-owned companies including Rostec and Rosneft according to the Moscow Times.
Tikhonova uses her grandmother’s patronymic as her surname rather than that of her father, probably in an effort to disguise their links rather than for any issues between them. As a close relative of Putin, she was sanctioned by the US, UK and EU in April 2022 following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In July 2022 the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) appointed Tikhonova co-chair of its import substitution coordination council which had been struggling to overcome the sanctions-imposed collapse in imports and is facing shortages of key goods, according to the RBC news channel.
The Geoscan Group was founded in 2011 by Alexey Semenov, who graduated with a master’s degree in physics from Saint Petersburg State University in 1986. It is Russia’s largest manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as well as a leading producer of photogrammetric data processing and three-dimensional data visualization software.
The group’s website lists a wide range of fixed-wing and rotary-wing copter-type drones. It suggests its products are totally designed and used for civilian applications such as geophysical survey and mapping, but in July, Ukraine imposed sanctions on the company following an announcement by Andrei Nazarov, head of the Russian Federation’s Republic of Bashkortostan, that the company’s local Geoscan-Ufa production center was producing drones for the war in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian sanctions were imposed on the grounds that Geoscan’s products were being “integrated into the production chain of military and/or dual-use goods and services.”
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