Zhanna Shamalova, the estranged wife of Vladimir Putin’s former son-in-law Kyrill Shamalov, is a wanted woman in Moscow for alleged crimes of defamation and ‘calumny.’

The 45 year-old model has a huge seaside villa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and a bank account in Monaco from which she draws her living expenses. The account is funded regularly from Gazprombank, according to Nice Matin.

Shamalova is engaged in a bitter legal battle with the man known as Russia’s youngest billionaire, who found his wealth on his marriage to Putin’s youngest legitimate daughter, Katerina, an acrobatic dancer. Overnight he was given more than $300 million, oil shares and the keys to a mansion in Biarritz worth a further $5 million. Putin is reported to be very fond of the French house.

Shamalova’s quarrel with her ex-husband is centred on his refusal to let her see her daughter, born via surrogate.

Gazprombank has escaped full EU sanctions because it is used to make payments to Russian oil and gas companies for gas supplies that continue to flow to the west. It remains in the SWIFT international payments system.

According to Radio Free Europe, the bank is used to pay many Russian servicemen serving in Ukraine, and its bottom line has strengthened in recent months as depositors flock to it from banks such as Sberbank and VTB, which face stronger western sanctions.

Shamalova does not appear on any EU sanctions list.

According to journalist Eric Galliano, writing for Nice Matin, Shamalova owes 300,000 euros in unpaid taxes for the purchase off her 450 square metre villa on avenue Varavilla at Cap Martin.

ORIGINAL SOURCES: Nice Matin, RFE/RL, NBC, Daily Mail, Tatler, Voici, Hoower and others

PHOTO: The Shamalovs