Putin’s Playboy goddaughter could return to Russia a week after fleeing in fear

Vladimir Putin’s ‘goddaughter’ is suspected to return to Russia just days after fleeing out of fear.

Ksenia Sobchak, 40, may have a personal family connection to war-mongering mad Vlad but as an opposition politician, the TV star has said she is "in trouble".

A week after dramatic footage showed Ksenia walking across the border between Belarus and Lithuania amid fear of arrest, there are already suggestions that she could soon to return to her homeland.

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Her luxury home near Moscow was searched in relation to a criminal case that if found guilty of mystery charges, could see Ksenia jailed for up to 15 years.

She has remained largely quiet since reaching the West except for a message that said: "Yes, I am in trouble. Possibly, in big trouble.”

But her mother Lyudmila Narusova, a senator, has been quoted by a state-run Moscow news agency answering whether Ksenia would return to Russia by saying: “She will, very soon.”

Narusova separately confirmed her daughter had used an Israeli passport to flee to EU country Lithuania, noting that “the Constitution of the Russian Federation allows dual citizenship”.

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She said that contrary to initial fears Ksenia was not a suspect in an extortion case against her business partner Kirill Sukhanov and a former Russian Tatler editor Arian Romanovsky.

Her lawyers were appealing against the move to search her house, said Narusova, who as a senator has strongly criticised Putin’s war.

A socialite-turned-politician, Sobchak was once called the Paris Hilton of Moscow.

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She was a popular reality TV presenter and once posed for Playboy.

She hosted the Russian version of Big Brother and went on to stand as a liberal candidate against Putin in the 2018 presidential election – rigged in Putin’s favour – when she came fourth.

One of Russia’s best known faces, she now runs independent media outlets which have angered Putin’s officials.

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Putin has known her since her childhood and he attended her baptism in the Orthodox Church, leading to rumours he is her godfather.

Anatoly Sobchak was Putin’s law professor and mentor who later gave the KGB spy his first post in politics as his deputy when he served as mayor of St Petersburg.

Putin even smuggled Ksenia's father out of Russia for medical treatment in the West at a time when his patron was accused by foes of corruption.

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Putin was later pictured at the former mayor’s funeral in 2000, alongside Ksenia, and her mother Lyudmila Narusova, now a Russian senator who opposes the war in Ukraine.

There is mystery over her rush to Lithuania amid suspicions she was tipped off by a senior Russian official of moves to arrest her, allowing her to flee.

As she left the country Sobchak was named as a suspect in the same case as Sukhanov and Romanovsky, namely “extortion to obtain property on a particularly large scale”.

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Since she left the country a week ago, there have been reports that she is no longer a suspect.

Sobchak had dismissed Sukhanov’s detention as “laughable nonsense.”

Narusova has voted against war-linked legislation in the Russian parliament and accused his state TV of “shameless lies” over the conflict.

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