Russian journalist Ksenia Sobchak fled to Lithuania. Media reports say the former presidential candidate and alleged goddaughter of Vladimir Putin is involved in an extortion case. She herself suspects a political background.
Xenia Sobchak has repeatedly criticized the war in Ukraine in recent months on her YouTube channel and other platforms. However, she had remained untouched by justice until she was suspected of large-scale extortion. Sobchak’s home would have been searched on Wednesday morning, the Russian news agency TASS reported. The investigation has not been officially confirmed. The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said there are “serious allegations” beyond blackmail.
Sobchak: “Last free editing in Russia”
The journalist, who has more than three million subscribers on YouTube, denied the allegations. “Obviously this is an attack on my editorial team, the last free editorial office in Russia to be pressured,” Sobchak wrote on Telegram’s online service. The 40-year-old hopes there has been a misunderstanding.
Your company’s commercial director, Attention Media, was previously arrested for taking a payment of 800,000 rubles (about 13,000 euros). Attention Media operates various projects in online networks.
The Russian journalist is currently in Lithuania, a person from border security circles reported on Wednesday. The Lithuanian government has blocked entry for Russians with tourist visas, but Sobchak has an Israeli passport. She has only been an Israeli citizen since 2022 and has been living in the country since March, according to her own statement. She would now have fled Russia.
Lithuania: no threat
“She doesn’t need a visa (…) and can stay for 90 days if I’m not mistaken. We don’t have any concrete intelligence information yet that she could pose a threat to the Lithuanian state,” Lithuanian intelligence chief Darius Jauniskis said.
Sobchak is the daughter of the late mayor of St. Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak. He was the political mentor of Russian President Vladimir Putin and once his boss. Ksenia Sobchak is said to be Putin’s goddaughter. Despite this, she ran against the incumbent party in the 2018 elections for the Russian presidency, winning 1.7 percent of the vote. However, observers accuse her of appearing to be alone in the competition.
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