By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 26 October 2022 • 23:14
According to the article it relates to extortion attempts using the messaging service Telegram with the suggestion that 800 million roubles are involved.
The claims have not been verified, nor has comment been forthcoming from former socialite Sobchak who has become increasingly critical of Putin.
With no details of the evidence supporting the claim, it is fair to assume that similar false charges to those laid against opposition leader Alexei Navalny could also be involved in this case.
Officials have told TASS that: “Sobchak is suspected under paragraph “b” of Part 3 of Article 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (extortion in order to obtain property on a particularly large scale). The victims in the case are an official of Rostec.”
If found guilty, Sobchak would face 15 years in prison.
Accused with her are Commercia Director Kirill Sukhanov and the ex-Editor-in-Chief of Tatler Ariane Romanovsky (Kuzmin), both of whom have been detained.
Sobchak has not responded to claims yet, but the possibility exists that the charges are fabricated in an effort to bring down the news station and he people involved. Certainly, this wouldn’t be the first time such tactics were used.
Former It-girl and Russian socialite Ksenia Sobchak, 40, was reported to have fled her home on Wednesday, October 26 by Russia’s TASS news agency.
Sobchak’s father was Putin’s mentor and the two families have long been closely associated with the president attending her baptism.
But that has not protected her from his need to control the narrative over the invasion of Ukraine, providing further signals that the Kremlin is tightening its control over dissenters and sending the message that no one is immune.
The reports suggest that her flat was raided and attempts were made to apprehend her at the airport, however, she managed to board a flight to Lithuania via Belarus.
An unnamed official told the TASS news agency: “She left Moscow overnight after she bought tickets online for Dubai yesterday and Turkey today – she did that to fool the agents.”
Sobchak has been careful not to fall foul of Putin’s crackdown on free speech, ensuring that her three million online followers are not kept appraised of her true feelings. So far there has been no confirmation as to what caused the Kremlin to send the police in after her.
Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin political analyst, said in a statement: “If they can arrest the daughter of Putin’s patron… it means there are no untouchables.
“For some members of the elites, an arrest warrant for Sobchak is a blazing sign in the skies.”
The commercial director of her company was arrested the day before the attempt to arrest her, and it is not known whether the two are related. She has, however, been critical of the arrest of Kirill Sukhanov.
She said: “My editorial team and I view this as yet another example of pressure against journalists,” she said. “There’s nothing to fault us with… They keep detaining my journalists. Now they’ve taken in Kirill and concocted charges against him.”
Sobchak is said to have enjoyed royalty status in Putin’s Russia as her father, a law professor and St Petersburg’s first post-Soviet mayor, was a mentor and long-time boss of the Russian president.
She was even given a free reign from time to time to criticise Putin, as well as appearing on the ballot paper in the 2018 election that saw opposition leader Alexei Navalny barred from running. At the time it was thought it was all propaganda and an effort by the Kremlin to say elections “were free and fair.”
Sobchak remained in Moscow despite her unhappiness with the direction that Putin was taking, openly criticising the annexation of Crimea. She has been careful to choose her words, telling followers that she has to be careful what she says.
Being careful what you say may no longer be good enough as Putin tightens his grip, causing people even like Putin’s goddaughter to flee.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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