Tikhonova takes part in a 'boogie woogie' dancing competition.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's daughter may have been outed as the head of a new multi-billion dollar Silicon Valley-style project at Moscow State University.

Up to now, Putin had successfully kept his family out of the limelight.

But on Wednesday (28 January) opposition politician Alexei Navalny published an online report by RBC on his Facebook page which named Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova as the head of an organisation working on a $1.7bn (£1.1bn) project to build new tech facilities at Moscow State University.

"RBC (they are cool!) yesterday found Putin's daughter in the Scientific Council of Moscow State University," wrote Navalny with the posting.

A source at Moscow State University confirmed that Tikhonova was Putin's daughter, while the Kremlin would not confirm or deny the claims when asked by the agency.

Up to now, there have been no confirmed photographs of Putin's daughters, Yekaterina, 28, and Maria, 29.

In an online article, journalist Oleg Kasnin claimed that Tikhonova is the president of the world confederation of Acrobatic Rock 'n' Roll, and that she may have taken the name Tikhonova in honour of her grandmother.

He said that dancer Ekaterina Tikhonova is listed as having the same birthday as Putin's youngest daughter in public records.

Tikhonova takes part in a 'boogie woogie' dancing competition

Putin announced last year in a television interview that his 30-year marriage with their mother, Liudmila, was over.

In 2008, a Moscow newspaper was closed down after reporting that Putin was in a relationship with Olympic gymnast, Alina Kabaeva.

RBC's report claims that Tikhonova is in charge of company Innopraktika, and that several influential Putin allies were close to the development project which will see a site on university land converted into an industry and technology academy.

Last year, after the MH17 airliner was allegedly shot down by Russia-backed militants in east Ukraine, media reported that Putin's older daughter, Maria, was living in Holland.

In an interview last year Putin said that both his daughters live in Russia, and he sees them "once or twice" a month.