We are raised in an international family.
Father, Stefan Doukhopelnikoff, the economics advisor, studied at the university in Antwerp, Belgium and Saint-Petersburg, Russia. He spoke six languages and was an economics advisor to countries trading with Eastern Europe. He later became secretary general of a private international organization.
Mother, Astrid Smets, worked in a family-owned multinational company with offices in Belgium, France and Germany as a laboratorist.
In 1992 Stephan, their son (the lawyer), was a general manager of the family group, managing two factories and a Mercedes-Benz branch (150 people employed).
Our grandfather, Boris Doukhopelnikoff, served the Tsar in the Don Cossack Army of Novocherkassk. In 1917 he escaped to Belgium during Russian revolution. His father was married to Neonila Bondareva.