Ksenia Sobchak Flees Russia as Police Raid Her Home

Russian media personality Ksenia Sobchak has fled Russia after her villa outside Moscow was raided, AFP and state media reported on Wednesday.

Agents raided Sobchak’s property in the village of Gorky-8, Moscow region, reported 112 Telegram channel, which is said to be linked to the Russian security services.

TASS reported late Wednesday, citing law enforcement agencies, that Sobchak is suspected of receiving money from the Rostec state conglomerate.

If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

An official from Lithuania’s border service told AFP on condition of anonymity that Sobchak arrived on an Israeli passport.

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Last September, Lithuania banned the entry of Russians traveling on tourist visas in connection with the Kremlin’s attack on Ukraine.

Although authorities planned to detain Sobchak at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, he evaded detention by entering Lithuania via Belarus, TASS reported, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.

Sobchak called the seizure the latest example of Russia’s widespread crackdown on independent media since the start of the war in Ukraine.

“It is clear that my editorial office, the last free editorial team in Russia, is under attack,” the one-time reality TV star and former presidential candidate said on Telegram.

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Sobchak’s departure came a day after authorities arrested Kirill Sukhanov, the business manager of Sobchak’s media holding, Ostorozhno, Media (Caution, Media), at a Moscow restaurant.

Sukhanov was detained as a suspect to rob government officials told RIA Novosti via the Telegram channel.

Arian Romanovsky was the former editor of the Russian fashion magazine Tatler arrested According to the Baza Telegram channel, which is connected to the Russian security services, it is part of an extortion case with Sukhanov.

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The case is related to the payment the couple demanded in return guarantee RBC reports that government officials will not accept critical information on Telegram news channels run by Sobchak.

Last month, state-run media reported that Sobchak was at risk of criminal charges under Russia’s wartime laws for spreading “fake news” about the authorities.

Ksenia Sobchak, the daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, the mayor of St. Petersburg who was elected in the first democratic elections, is known as the goddaughter of the President of the Russian Federation.

AFP contributed to this report.

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