Russian Journalist Ksenia Sobchak Reportedly Leaves Country To Avoid Possible Arrest

By RFE/RL's Russian Service

Russian journalist and TV personality Ksenia Sobchak has reportedly left Russia to avoid possible arrest.

Russian media reports quoted unnamed sources close to law enforcement on October 26 as saying that Sobchak left Russia overnight for Lithuania via Belarus hours before investigators planned to detain her on unspecified charges.

Other reports earlier in the day said that police searched Sobchak's house in the upscale town of Gorki-8 near the Russian capital as part of an extortion probe launched against her associate Kirill Sukhanov, who was detained a day earlier.

Sukhanov is the commercial director of Sobchak's "Ostorozhno.Media" holding.

Sobchak herself is not a person of interest in the investigation, the officials said.

Sobchak called Sukhanov's arrest "another instance of pressure against the media" in Russia.

The 40-year-old Sobchak, the daughter of late St. Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak, President Vladimir Putin's political mentor, has positioned herself as an opposition figure for years.

She ran against Putin in 2018 but many in Russia considered her as a person close to the Russian president and his government.

With reporting by TASS, Baza, RIA Novosti, and Interfax