Battler was born in the city of Astrakhan into a Ukrainian-Russian family. Her father, Vladimir Petrovich Barannik, was a major in the militia (police). Her mother, Tatiana Nikolaevna Barannik, was a homemaker. In 1962-1966 Valentina studied at the Mussorgsky Music College of Astrakhan, where she graduated with honours. In 1966 she entered the Leningrad (currently St.-Petersburg) Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory – the piano department (class of Prof. N. E. Perelman) and graduated in 1971 with the qualification of soloist, ensemble player and instructor. Subsequently she worked for many years at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music. In 1993 she emigrated to Canada where she changed her name officially to Valentina Battler and now has dual citizenship. Since 2001 she lived in Oxford (United Kingdom), and later in Paris (France). At present she resides in New York (USA). She has been married since 1970 to Alex Battler (Oleg Arin). They have two children: son Guerman and daughter Ulyana.