While one of the Tajik president's fortunes have risen
this week, farther north there have been rumors swirling in Moscow that one of Vladimir Putin's two daughters (23-year-old Katya or 24-year-old Masha) recently married an unidentified "oligarch."
Kremlin-connected writer Aleksandr Prokhanov let the tantalizing rumor slip during an interview with Ekho Moskvy in which he was discussing how members of Russia's political elites increase their influence by marrying relatives of those in the highest echelons of power.
He noted that Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov is married to the daughter of former Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, who patronized his career since he graduated in 2001.
"And our oligarchs also resolve the problems of their relatives in this way," Prokhanov said
. "One of them just recently married Putin's daughter."
After the interview, Prokhanov fell out of sight, turning off his mobile phone and reportedly leaving Moscow.
This isn't the first time rumors in the media have married off Putin's daughters. In 2005, there was a rumor that one of them had had a lavish wedding on the Greek island of Santorini. The mayor of Santorini was even quoted as confirming the report and providing piquant details. Generally, however, details about the Putin family's personal lives are closely guarded secrets.
-- Robert Coalson