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Russian TV host, a daughter of Putin’s mentor, said to get Israeli citizenship

Ksenia Sobchak, possible goddaughter of Russian president who ran against him in 2018 and has opposed Ukraine invasion, naturalized as Israeli with her son, says report

Former presidential candidate and TV star Ksenia Sobchak attends a news conference in Moscow, Russia, May 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Former presidential candidate and TV star Ksenia Sobchak attends a news conference in Moscow, Russia, May 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

A prominent Russian television presenter and former presidential candidate whose father was Vladimir Putin’s political mentor has obtained Israeli citizenship, according to a report Saturday.

Citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter, the Haaretz daily said both Ksenia Sobchak and her son were recently granted citizenship.

The newspaper said Sobchak’s maternal grandfather is Jewish, as is her baby’s father, actor Maksim Vitorgan. Under Israel’s Law of Return, anyone with a Jewish grandparent can immigrate to the country.

The report added that her current boyfriend, theater director Konstantin Bogomolov, is also believed to have received Israeli citizenship.

However, according to the Daily Mail, Sobchak said on social media that the report was “propaganda” pumped out by the Kremlin, but did not deny it.

The British tabloid said that last month, she also confirmed vacationing in Israel, but was adamant she only had Russian citizenship.

Sobchak is among a number of Russian celebrities who have spoken out against the invasion of Ukraine. Russia has criminalized vocal opposition to its military assault on its neighbor, with violators punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Ksenia Sobchak during his meeting with opposition candidates who ran against him in Sunday, March 18, 2018’s presidential election, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on March 19, 2018. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP)

Her father was former Saint Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak, who was Putin’s boss in the 1990s. The Russian president is widely rumored to be her godfather, though she has denied this.

Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak votes in the Russian presidential election in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)

Along with her television career, Sobchak challenged Putin in the 2018 presidential elections but got less than two percent of the vote, a race with an outcome that was never in doubt.

In a 2015 interview, Sobchak said she had thought about Israel as a possible destination if she were to leave Russia in case of war, according to the report.

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