Profile: Kseniya Sobchak
Updated November 26, 2017 by Anastasia Kirilenko.
Undermining effect on democracy
- High (4) because she participated in “soft power” or “systemic liberal operations” contributing to the construction of the “vertical of power”. From participation in eulogistic movies about Putin to the Kremlin-authorized participation in the presidential elections-2018. She acts as a spoiler and fake candidate during elections with the support of the regime in order to normalize non-democratic rigged electoral process in the West.
Reported links with Communist party, KGB or organized crime
Only through parents but with all three groups
Key bio and links with kleptocracies
Kseniya is closely tied to kleptocracy through her parents.
Kseniya Sobchak’s father Anatoly Sobchak:
- close partnership with Shabtai Kalmanovich, killed in Moscow. Kalmanovich, according to 2002 investigation in Italy, was linked to Soltsevo organized crime gang, colonel of the KGB and was arrested in Italy in 1975 for arms trafficking, p. 128 https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3456997/Undated-Translation-of-Spider-Web-Case-Bologna.pdf
“Kalmanovich was friendly with the mayor Sobchak, and in 1995 his company Liat-Dixi received from Sobchak several sites for the construction of hypermarkets, as well as a large shopping center”. Kalmanovich was together with Sobchak when he died http://www.rosbalt.ru/moscow/2011/09/30/895982.html
- criminal case in Sankt-Petersburg, accusation of corruption and bribes, 1997 (escaped with a help of Putin on a private jet abroad)
- criminal case in 1998, same accusations of bribes and corruption brought at the level of Prosecutor General’s Office
- «suite cases full of cash » driven to Credit Lyonais’s branch in St Petersburg and then abroad by Sobchak’s people. Source: German businessman Franz Sedelmyer (provided security services to Credit Lyonais). Source The Insider, 01/03/2017: https://theins.ru/korrupciya/46539
- “Case of licenses”, protection of Putin from the punishment in the parliamentary investigation in 1992 https://www.rferl.org/a/Putins_Old_Nemesis_Speaks_Out_After_Decade_Of_Silence/1975961.html
Kseniya Sobchak’s mother Lyudmila Narusova:
links with Mirilashvili, nickname « Misha Kutaissky » (source : Karen Dawisha, « Putin’s kleptocracy », Simon and Shuster, 2014 page 177:. Narusova and Mirilashvili discuss a possible ‘shut down” of a city counsil’s member Yuri Shutov)
Possible “compromat” of Putin against Anatoly Sobchak (received late 80ths-1990th). Source: Leonid Dobrovolsky’s interview from the movie “Who is Mr Putin”. http://kirilenko.fr/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Who%20Is%20Mr.%20Putin%20(English%20with%20Subtitles)%20%5BHD,%201280x720%5D.mp4?_=1
Sobchak’s father dead under mysterious circumstances in Kaliningrad in 2000. His widow Lyudmila Narusova commissioned an independent expertise and goes back from time to time to the accusation that her husband was murdered https://www.novayagazeta.ru/articles/2012/11/08/52265-lyudmila-narusova-171-eto-moe-politicheskoe-zaveschanie-187 . In its turn, The Saint-Petersburg city council member (1990-1993) Marina Salye wrote in 2011 that it was “elimination of an accomplice”.
“The liquidation of a witness (accomplice) in the criminal world is a routine, routine matter, I would say. Did Putin and Sobchak have common cases that could be considered criminal acts? There were. Does this mean that Putin "removed" Sobchak? No, it does not. But doubts that the first mayor of St. Petersburg died of his death remain. And not only me.” https://www.svoboda.org/a/3558396.html
In 1996, the former chairman of the Leningrad City Council, Alexander Belyaev, said that Sobchak told him in a confidential conversation about an account opened in Austria for $ 7 million, where money was received from the implementation of quotas for the export of fuel oil (the above mentionned "Salye" investigation) and credited as "Reserve fund of the city" in the name of Anatoly Sobchak. In addition, according to Belyaev, Sobchak and Putin purchased real estate on the Atlantic coast of France, Sobchak also in Paris. Sobchak filed a lawsuit on diffamation. In the Petrograd district court, Vladimir Putin made a statement that he "does not know where the Atlantic coast is." The parties reached an amicable agreement, the results of which were not commented. Source: "Soviet Russia", Moscow, 16/11/1996
Most likely, until today there is a deal between Lyudmila Narusova, Putin and Kseniya of keeping silence on Sobchak’s death in exchange of guaranteed standard of life.
In its turn, Putin speaks always very highly on Sobchak. At that, people who opened Credit Lyonnais in Saint-Petersburg and might be witnesses of Anatoly Sobchak’s illegal enrichment, are still active (Michel Chesnokov, Igor Sagirian, linked to KGB).
Born November 5, 1981 Saint Petersburg. Daughter of the mayor of St Petersburg Anatoly Sonchak and senator Lyudmila Narusova. In 1998, Sobchak enrolled at the St Petersburg State University (Department of International Relations). In 2001 she moved to Moscow and enrolled in the International Relations program at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. In 2002 she enrolled in a master’s program at the department of politics at the same university.
Sobchak first got famous in 2004, when she became a host of the vulgar reality show Dom-2. She left the show only in 2012, because the show's low-brow orientation became incongruent with her political activism https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/sobchak-quits-dom-2-15877
In early 2010 she participated in a eulogistic movie about Sobchak and Putin. She and her mother got access to Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev whom they interviewed about “democratic values which Anatoly Sobchak taught Putin” https://www.svoboda.org/a/1959093.html . However, later in 2010 Kseniya presented herself as an apparent active figure of real opposition. On December 24 she made a speech at a protest rally in Moscow saying that it is better not to change the Putin’s power but to influence it. https://www.svoboda.org/a/28804196.html
She was elected to the Coordination Council of Russian opposition (KSO) in 2012 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Opposition_Coordination_Council where she demanded that all key anti-Putin slogans and actions are removed.
Undermining effect abroad
In 2012 Narusova made misleading statements at the Parliamentary assembly of OSCE on the adoption of resolution on the Magnitsky case. She argued it won’t punish real murderers of Mangnitsky but “those who were just nearby”, that investigation in Russia was going well but was mainly impeded by refusal of Bill Browder to give testimony (even though it was clear that Russian law enforcement only wanted to fabricate Browder and shield real gross human rights violators). She also said sanctions lists are not practiced by free states which is a lie. Kseniya never spoke against her mother’s words on this subject.
In 2012 Kseniya also said that parliamentary investigation into international corruption be Putin and her father (“Salye dossier”) is a libel. https://www.rferl.org/a/Putins_Old_Nemesis_Speaks_Out_After_Decade_Of_Silence/1975961.html
In 2017 she promised a detailed investigation that all the allegations were untrue but she apparently intends to investigate “after the presidential election of 2018”.
Initially Kseniya rudely refused she is running in the 2018 elections, then she said that she “announced her decision to Putin”. So prior to the announcement of her intention to enter the Presidential race in 2018, Sobchak discussed her intention personally with Putin. She said: "With Vladimir Vladimirovich, my family has been associated with a great deal... so I felt it right to say that I made such a decision". Putin, she said, told her that "every person has the right to make his own decisions and must be responsible for them". https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2017/10/18/738451-sobchak-putinim
It is unlikely that running for presidency was Kseniya’s idea. She denied it in a violent manner first and asked journalists “not to spread lies”. She then said that she “announced her decision to Putin”. “This is a Kremlin’s idea, brilliant one”, said political analyst Tatyana Vorozheikina (source: speech at Stefan Batoria foundation, Warsaw, 08 November 2017). Many others analysts express similar points of view.
In Novermber 2017 Kseniya made a tour in the UK in which she explained her participation in the elections, evidently trying to “normalize” them in the West.
Key financial assets
According to Forbes Magazine, in 2017 Sobchak is the 10th highest paid celebrity in Russia, as her annual salary from her media jobs is around $2.1 million a year. This is down compared to her 2015 ranking, when she was the 5th highest paid celebrity in Russia, and from 2011 when her income was $2.8 million a year. The main source of this annual revenue is from advertising contracts.
Ksenia Sobchak since 2007 has registered as an individual entrepreneur (activities in the field of performing arts). In 2010, it became a minority shareholder of Euroset, investing $ 1 million, but in December 2012 she sold its stakes in the company for $ 2.3 million.
She is also listed as a co-owner (10%) of Besser LLC (restaurants). Since 2010, together with the restaurant company Ginza Project, Ksenia Sobchak has opened in Moscow a restaurant "Tverbul", a bar "Melody" and a cafe-confectionery "Bublik".
Sobchak's main income brings corporate events and advertising contracts. She also tours across the country with master classes "Theory of Success". The largest advertising contracts are Tsum, JPoint (jewelry), "Terekhov" (clothes), Prelox (a means for increasing men’s potency) and Dior Makeup. The majority of advertising revenue comes from the Internet. One of her advertising post in social networks costs approximately € 7000-8000 for products from the luxury segment and from € 10 000 for goods of mass demand.
Other noteworthy facts:
1.5 million euros in cash seized by the Investigative Committee http://www.mk.ru/politics/2012/06/11/713690-sledovateli-nashli-u-sobchak-15-mln-evro-video.html