Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Ksenia Sobchak, Pavel Grudinin and Sergei Baburin
Who Is Ksenia Sobchak, Russia's Paris Hilton Who Has Announced Presidential Bid? Yuri Kadobnov/AFP via Getty Images

Ksenia Sobchak, a Russian journalist and TV personality who is rumored to be the goddaughter of Vladimir Putin, left her country after cops in Moscow raided one of her houses.

Intelligence services in Vilnius said that the daughter of Putin’s one-time boss fled to Lithuania, reported The Guardian.

Ksenia, who also ran for the Russian presidency in 2018, is the daughter of the former mayor of St Petersburg Anatoly Sobchak. Putin had previously described him as his mentor.

Russian media said that she had fled Russia on Tuesday night. She crossed the Belarus-Lithuania border after she tricked the Russian authorities by buying plane tickets from Moscow to Dubai. In CCTV footage, she could be seen covering her face and wearing a cap while crossing the Lithuanian border on foot.

The head of the country’s counterintelligence service, Darius Jauniskis, told a local radio station on Thursday morning that without any doubt, "she is (in Lithuania) ... I confirm the fact." He said that the TV personality had crossed the border on her Israeli passport. Last month, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia introduced an entry ban for citizens of Russia holding tourist visas. Jauniskis said that as an Israeli citizen, with a valid passport, "she doesn’t need a visa and can enter Lithuania and stay here for up to 90 days."

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters that she is currently not included in any sanctions list of the European Union, U.K. or the U.S., and "this does not mean that it cannot occur.” According to the AP News, he added that Ksenia might already have left Lithuania as she had stepped foot in Europe’s passport-free travel zone. It is a 26-nation area made up of most of the EU members in addition to Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

She left Russia after it was revealed on Wednesday that her house had been searched as part of the criminal case against Kirill Sukhanov. The commercial director of Ostorozhno Media was detained on extortion charges, reported CNN. She wrote on her Telegram channel Wednesday that Sukhanov had been arrested, and that attempts were made to "charge him with extortion." She denounced this as “nonsense” and an attack on her editorial team.

Ostorozhno Media is one of the only remaining news projects operating inside Russia that has slammed the Kremlin since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

Ksenia Sobchak
(RUSSIA OUT) Russian journalist and former candidate for Presidential Elections Ksenia Sobchak takes a selfie photo during Vladimir Putin's annual press conference at the Moscow Manege on December 23, 2021, in Moscow, Russia. More than 500 journalists were invited to Vladimir Putin's end-of-year marathon press conference. Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

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