Who is Ksenia Sobchak?

  • Rusia
  • 0
  • 9937 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. Required fields are marked *

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

  • 0
  • 197 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
  • 22768 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

AVENUES FOR A WAY-OUT FROM RUSSIA – EU STALEMATE

  • 0
  • 11407 Views
  • 2 July 2020

PASHENTSEV, EVGENY (ED.), 2020.  STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION IN EU-RUSSIA RELATIONS.  PALGRAVE MACMILLAN

This book  , edited by Evgeny Pashentsev, brings together a series of chapters written by Russian and non-Russian scholars

citește mai mult

Azebaijan, cheia geostrategică a Asiei Centrale

  • 0
  • 19750 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

What Can Democrats Learn From Alabama’s Doug Jones?

  • 0
  • 12561 Views
  • 30 November 2017

In ordinary circumstances, Doug Jones would already be preparing to move to Washington DC. The former prosecutor famous for convicting KKK members for a church bombing is up against gay bashing, God and gun lovin’, twice kicked out of elected office, Judge Roy Moore. A man who has eight accusers of sexual assault, all of whom were underage at the time of the allegations.

Yet, if one looks at all the recent polls, they show a ti

citește mai mult

Azerbaidjanul, petrolul și românii

  • 0
  • 12373 Views
  • 7 October 2016

Întotdeauna, statele sunt nevoite să își apere poziția pe marea tablă a geopoliticii, uitându-se cu grijă la vecini, dar și la puterile regionale. Această regulă presupune nu doar poziția ofensivă, ci și valorificare atuurilor, astfel încât să devină piese care contează pe „câmpul de analiză”, iar nu elemente neglijabile, care sunt măturate dintr-o dată de cei ce au suficientă putere să mânuiască piesele.

Caucazul, ca regiune geopolitică, nu face nici ea excepție

citește mai mult

The US Strategic Provocations before and during the Olympic Games: The Stakes Are Growing

  • 0
  • 89 Views
  • 16 January 2022

Introduction. To make your foe act in a definite way through the planned escalation of events, thereby making him lose his position and his tangible and intangible assets – that is the essence of any international provocation. In history, one can find many examples of strategic provocations with long term goals and, very often, grave and long-term international consequences. The Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964 – where a North Vietnamese to

citește mai mult

Experts on the Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence and Challenges to International Psychological Security (part III)

  • 0
  • 128 Views
  • 28 December 2021

The Questionnaire for Experts “Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence and Challenges to Psychological Security”

 This questionnaire is a part of the research project “Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence and Challenges to Psychological Security in Northeast Asia” funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, project number 21-514-92001. citește mai mult

Experts on the Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence and Challenges to International Psychological Security (part II)

  • 0
  • 162 Views
  • 17 December 2021

  1. Which of the threats to international psychological security caused by the malicious use of artificial intelligence do you consider the most relevant for your country?

  Vian Bakir and Andrew McStay Surreptitious influencing via psychological manipulation on social media is a real threat in the UK. In the 2016 “Brexit” referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union, Cambridge Analytica offe

citește mai mult