Published On: Mon, Mar 16th, 2015

Jewish Russian Anchorwoman Ksenia Sobchak Fleeing Hit List

"Tomorrow I will leave Russia for some time, " Sobchak declared,

Ksenia Sobchak

Russian TV anchor, journalist, socialite, and member of political opposition Ksenia Sobchak has left her country following public and private warnings that she, as well as other opposition figures, are the targets of contract hits of the kind that eliminated Boris Nemtsov, the Kommersant business daily reported.

Sobchak, who recently became editor-in-chief of the new Russian-language issue of fashion magazine L’Officiel, announced she was leaving at a Friday night party that celebrated her appointment.

“Tomorrow I will leave Russia for some time, ” Sobchak declared, according to the report.

Sobchak, who identifies herself as Jewish but not religious, also hosts a talk show on Dozhd television, which is associated with the opposition to President Vladimir Putin.

A report last week in the Novaya Gazeta independent newspaper suggested that her name was on the same contract hit list as Nemtsov, who had been murdered in fron of the Kremlin wall on Feb. 27.

But Sobchak started planning her quick departure earlier, after she and Alexey Venediktov, editor-in-chief of independent radio station Ekho Moskvy, during the funeral of Boris Nemtsov Ksenia, were approached by a stranger who told them: “Keep in mind – you’re next, Ksenia.”

On March 5, Venediktov was summoned to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to testify about threats against Ksenia.

Also on the hit list, according to Novaya Gazeta: former oil tycoon and Putin’s nemesis Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and Alexei Venediktov himself.

Short on details, the Novaya Gazeta report said only that the attacks had been ordered by a high-ranking security official in Chechnya. The report identified the man only by his first name, Ruslan, whose identity was supposedly known to the Russian authorities.

Gazeta.ru revealed last week that Sobchak said she had to hire bodyguards in response to the hit list report.

A spokesman for President Putin, Dmitry Peskov, denied the Novaya Gazeta story, saying the notion of a dissidents hit list was “absurd.”

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