Ksenia Sobchak Flees Russia as Police Raid Her Home – The Moscow Times

Russian media personality Ksenia Sobchak has fled Russia after her villa outside Moscow was raided in connection with an extortion case, which she dismissed as government pressure on her media group, AFP and state media said on Wednesday.

According to the 112 Telegram channel, agents searched Sobchak’s property in the village of Gorki-8 in the Moscow region, which is said to have ties to Russia’s security services.

TASS Reported Later on Wednesday, citing law enforcement agencies, Sobchak is a suspect in a criminal case of extortion from the state conglomerate Rostec.

She faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted.

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

In September, Lithuania restricted entry to Russians traveling on tourist visas because of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Citing unnamed law enforcement sources, TASS also reported that although authorities had planned to detain Sobchak at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, she evaded arrest by entering Lithuania via Belarus.

Sobchak called the ransom case the latest example of Russia’s widespread crackdown on independent media since the war in Ukraine began.

“It is clear that this is an attack on my editorial team, the last remaining free editorial team in Russia that had to be put under pressure,” the one-time reality television star and former presidential candidate said on Telegram.

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

Sukhanov was allegedly detained to rob Government officials through the Telegram channel, according to RIA Novosti.

Arian Romanovsky was the former editor of the Russian fashion magazine Tatler taken into custody As part of the extortion case with Sukhanov, reported the Baza Telegram channel, which is also connected to the Russian security services.

The case relates to payments that the pair allegedly demanded in return guarantees According to RBC, government officials will not receive serious coverage on the Sobchak-run Telegram news channel.

Last month, state media reported that Sobchak faced criminal prosecution under Russia’s wartime laws against spreading “fake news” about officials.

The daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, the first democratically elected mayor of St. Petersburg who is credited with launching President Vladimir Putin into politics, Ksenia Sobchak turns out to be the Russian president’s adopted daughter.

AFP contributed to this report.

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