Who is Ksenia Sobchak?

  • Rusia
  • 0
  • 10009 Views
  • 30 December 2017

An unlikely presidential candidate, in 2017 socialite and TV personality, Ksenia Sobchak, announced her intention to run in the Russian Presidential Election 2018. She claimed this would be an ‘against all’[1] bid for the presidency.

Ksenia Sobchak will be the first woman to run for the Russian presidency in fourteen years. This move was greeted with cynicism and intrigue in Russia and the West alike.

So who is the woman labelled ‘Russia’s Paris Hilton’?

Sobchak (36) was born in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) and showed an aptitude for the arts early on. She attended a school connected to the famous Mariinsky Theatre and Hermitage Art School. She would later obtain a degree in politics from Moscow’s State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO).

Her father, Anatoly, was the first democratically elected mayor of St. Petersburg and helped draft the Russian constitution. Some refer to Anatoly as Vladimir Putin’s political mentor, who served as his deputy before becoming prime minister and president.

Sobchak rose to fame hosting the often-controversial reality-TV show Dom-2 (pronounced ‘domdva’). She also hosted a selection of other reality-TV shows, and would eventually leave Dom-2 in 2012 when the show was cancelled (more on this later).

In 2010, she began hosting Freedom of Thought on Russia’s Channel 5, although soon left the program claiming not to enjoy it.

Since 2011, she has hosted Sobchak Live on the privately owned and self-proclaimed ‘politically independent’ TV channel, Dozhd’.

Sobchak has also worked as a magazine editor, modeled for Playboy and had several acting jobs.

According to Forbes, she was the tenth highest paid celebrity in Russia in 2017, earning $2.1million. This is down from fifth place a few years ago.

Sobchak has become more politically active in recent years, being critical of Russia’s political system, but not Putin personally. Prior to this, little indicated she would seek a political career like her father.

Her first public criticisms came against a youth group leader and government minister, Vasili Yakemenko. At a restaurant, Sobchak loudly said that it was not surprising to see a celebrity drinking expensive champagne, “but what is a member of the government doing here?” Her video of this event went viral.

During the Russian protests of 2012, Sobchak delivered her so-called ‘Snow Revolution speech’. She claimed that she was not against Putin, but against the system, stating that she did not want to change politics, but influence politics. After her ‘Snow Revolution’ speech, investigators showed up at Sobchak’s flat unannounced. After this incident, Dom-2 was cancelled and Sobchak was banned from appearing on state-owned TV channels. She recently appeared on Rossiya 1 with Andrei Malakhov, however.

At first, Sobchak put herself forward as an independent candidate. However,‘Civil Initiative’ has nominated her and she has since joined the party. Civil Initiative has no national representation.

In a letter to Russian newspaper Vedomosti, Sobchak claimed to be a pro-business and pro-rights candidate. She opposes sexual and gender discrimination, has proposed to reform education, the court system and wants to privatise large state corporations. She also opposes Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, something the overwhelming majority of Russians supported. Sobchak has also vowed to end corruption in Russia’s political system.

Different liberal groups and opposition parties have been conflicted as to whether or not to support her candidacy. Alexei Navalny for instance labelled Sobchak a ‘Kremlin stooge’, who is only running to add legitimacy to Russia’s elections and increase her own personal profile. Navalny has been prohibited from running due to a suspended criminal conviction.

The latest Levada poll has Sobchak at 1%, behind all other notable candidates. While Sobchak has the benefit of being a household name, another poll by VTsIOM revealed her the ‘least trusted’ of the potential candidates.

[1] ‘Against-all’ is a reference to the ‘none of the above’ option Russians may select when voting. The term ‘protivvsekh’ (противвсех) literally translates as ‘against all’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Russian Security Cannot be Anti-Russian

  • 0
  • 295 Views
  • 15 March 2022

To reflect on the period where the world now finds itself, we propose the term “cold hot war”, as this period has significant differences from the classical notion of the “Cold war”. Within the framework of the old Cold War, military confrontation between the two superpowers was always indirect. “Proxy” conflicts only emerged between their respective allies, when there was an intersection of interests in various regions of the world, but these never happened direc

citește mai mult

Russian Leadership Changes: How it was, is and how it might be

  • 0
  • 602 Views
  • 3 January 2022

Now that 2022 is finally here, it means Russia’s next presidential election is just two years away. The way has been paved for Vladimir Putin to run again if he chooses. The will he/won’t he? question is a favourite of pundits as is speculation of a potential or likely successor. Russia’s next leader will be immensely consequential, as will the time when he or she takes over.

It’s certainly possible that by the end of t

citește mai mult

Researchers from Six Countries Discussed the Challenges for International Psychological Security in the Context of the Use of Artificial Intelligence

  • 0
  • 23063 Views
  • 23 November 2020

On 12 November 2020, a panel discussion "Artificial Intelligence and International Psychological Security: Theoretical and Practical Implications" was held at St. Petersburg State University as part of the international conference "Strategic Communications in Business and Politics" (STRATCOM-2020).

The discussion was moderated by Konstantin Pantserev – DSc in Political Sciences, Professor of the St. Petersburg State University,

citește mai mult

Conferință despre Transnistria, 4 – 5 Martie 2022

  • 0
  • 441 Views
  • 8 March 2022

Împlinirea a 30 de ani de la unul dintre cele mai dificile momente ale istoriei estului Europei a constituit temeiul unei conferințe științifice de prestigiu organizate în colaborare de către instituții de învățâmânt și cercetare din Chișinău, Târgoviște și București.

Conferința cu titlul „Războiul de pe Nistru din 1992: 30 de ani după...” a fost organizată de către Asociația Națională a Tinerilor Istorici din Moldova (ANTIM),

citește mai mult

Forcing the Correct Choice: Deterring Right-Wing Radicals and Preventing Threats to Nuclear Facilities in Ukraine

  • 0
  • 325 Views
  • 7 March 2022

According to official statements by the Russian Federation, its army’s special military operation in Ukraine aims to both “demilitarize” and “denazify” the country. This operation is being carried out in a large state with a developed nuclear power industry, fairly powerful army (the largest in Europe outside of Russia and Turkey) and high firepower (22nd place in the world according to 2022 Military Strength Ranking (Global Firepower, 2022)). One of the primary o

citește mai mult

Azebaijan, cheia geostrategică a Asiei Centrale

  • 0
  • 20286 Views
  • 13 February 2018

După destrămarea URSS, Azerbaijanul a fost statul ex-sovietic care alături de    republicile Baltice a avut o dezvoltare constantă și durabilă. Desigur, aici pot fi adresate unele critici regimului de la Baku cu privire la democrație, care în opinia multor analiști este doar mimată la Baku. Însă faptul adevărat este că acest stat a reușit să își gestioneze eficient resursele de care dispune pentru a deveni o societate prosperă. I se atribuie Azerbaijanului etichet

citește mai mult

The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence Was Discussed at the XIII International IT-Forum

  • 0
  • 142 Views
  • 15 June 2022

On the 7-9th of June 2022, the 13th International IT-Forum was held in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Forum attracted more than 5,000 participants from around the world, especially those from BRICS and SCO states.

A range of international conferences we

citește mai mult

U.S.: On the Way to Right-Wing Coup and Civil War?

  • 0
  • 265 Views
  • 29 April 2022

Today, amid heightening negative trends in the world economy, social and property polarization, the deepest crisis in international relations and the insufficient effectiveness of socially-oriented programs of national development, the prerequisites for coup d’état and civil war in various countries arise. For example, Africa reached last year an annual record (4) in the number of successful military coups i

citește mai mult

Young researchers from four countries discussed the threats of malicious use of artificial intelligence for international information and psychological security

  • 0
  • 316 Views
  • 18 February 2022

The expansion of the artificial intelligence (AI) usage has been causing deep concerns in experts’ circles for a long time. However, it is getting out AI of human control that tends to be regarded and securitized as the main threat. Such a scenario, nonetheless, does not take into account the fact the capabilities of AI can be deliberately used for criminal purposes.

Researchers from different countries are vigorously studying

citește mai mult