Russia is bombarding Ukraine and Vladimir Putin is continuing to push forward with his invasion of the country. Nevertheless, at a time when sanctions have been imposed on top Russian officials, the wife of one of them was reportedly spotted sunbathing in Tel Aviv in recent days.
Tatiana Navka, a former Olympic champion and the wife of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, has reportedly been on a private vacation in Israel over the last few days and was staying in Tel Aviv.
The news comes as Israel faces criticism for being too lenient on Russia despite the ongoing war crimes against Ukraine. Israel has also faced criticism for failing to supply weapons to Ukraine.
Navka, who is a 2006 Olympic figure skater champion and a two-time World champion, was staying at the Kempinski Hotel in Tel Aviv, Ynet reported based on information it said it received from the "Israeli Friends of Ukraine" association.
In March, Navka was included on a list of nationals sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury as part of the international sanctions against Russians over the war in Ukraine and due to her husband. Peskov had been blacklisted earlier because of his key role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In June, Navka was also sanctioned by the European Union.
"Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war still encounter difficulties to enter Israel, but the wife of Putin's spokesman is in Israel without any problem," Anna Zarov, founder of the "Israeli Friends of Ukraine" association, told Ynet.
Peskov has served as Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson since 2008. In this capacity, according to the US State Department, "he has played a key role in propaganda and disinformation campaigns to cover up the Kremlin’s links to the 2006 polonium poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko, the 2018 Novichok poisoning of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia, and the 2020 Novichok poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny."
The State Department said that serving Putin has been lucrative for Peskov, and despite being a civil servant for his entire career, he and his family are multimillionaires.
According to the Department of the Treasury, members of Peskov’s family have a real estate empire worth more than $10 million, a number of luxury vehicles, and travel regularly on private aircraft and yachts.
"While some say that it never pays to lie, in Peskov’s case it certainly seems like it did," the US government said.