Kseniya Sobchak imitating Yulia Tymoshenko's trademark hairdo
|Born||Kseniya Anatolyevna Sobchak (Russian: Ксе́ния Анато́льевна Собча́к)
November 5, 1981
|Partner(s)||Maxim Vitorgan (2013–present)|
Kseniya Anatolyevna Sobchak (Russian: Ксе́ния Анато́льевна Собча́к), born November 5, 1981) is a Russian TV anchor, journalist, socialite, and member of political opposition. Sobchak became known to the wider public as a host of the reality show "Dom-2" on the Russian channel TNT. She is sometimes described as Russia's "It girl" and "Russia's Paris Hilton". She transitioned from a celebrity socialite into a political activist, and has been protesting alleged electoral fraud by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Sobchak is an anchor at an independent TV channel Dozhd and a member of the Russian Opposition Coordination Council.
As a child she attended the ballet school attached to the Mariinsky Theatre and the Hermitage Museum art school. In 1998, Ksenia left the school attached to Herzen University, and enrolled at the Saint Petersburg State University (Department of International Relations). In 2001 she moved to Moscow and enrolled in the International Relations program at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. In 2002 she enrolled in a masters program at the department of politics at the same university.
Sobchak acted in the 2004 film Thieves and Prostitutes.
She is also known as a clothes designer and promoter of rubber boots. In June 2006 she created her first collection of such boots.
In 2004, Sobchak was identified as a candidate to become Russia's first national Space Tourist, flying to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz rocket. She may have undertaken some initial tests and cosmonaut training, but the project came to nothing.
She also acted against the newly produced law that prohibits sharing of private lives of Russian celebrities without their permission.
On 28 December 2008, Sobchak was on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to New York when she and other passengers determined that the pilot was drunk prior to take-off. Sobchak used her socialite status to call Aeroflot representatives and remove the pilot from the cockpit.
Russia's Tatler magazine made the list of most desirable single women in the country. The list is based on women's fortune and their celebrity status. She is known across Russia as a socialite, TV host and presenter. Ksenia is Russia's No.1 'it girl', an analogue to Paris Hilton.
Kseniya Sobchak first got famous in 2004, when she became a host of the reality show Dom-2. She left the show in 2012, because the show's low-brow orientation became incongruent with her political activism.
In 2010 Sobchak became a host of the TV program "Freedom of thought" on the state-run Channel 5. However, she soon left the program, since, according to her, it turned into a never-ending discussion of public utilities maintenance.
Since 2011 Sobchak is hosting the program "Sobchak Live" on the independent channel Dozhd.
On September 7, 2012 MTV Russia launched a talk-show "GosDep (State Department) with Kseniya Sobchak". The show was supposed to cover hot social and political issues. The first episode of the show, titled "Where is Putin leading us?" featured interviews with the head of "Left Front" Sergei Udaltsov, member of "Solidarnost" (Solidarity) movement Ilya Yashin, and eco-activist Yevgeniya Chirikova. However, the show was promptly shut down after one episode. The second episode was supposed to feature an interview with anti-corruption blogger Aleksey Navalny. MTV Russia representatives explained their decision to cancel the show with the lack of interest in politics among the channel's audience.
Political background and activities
Sobchak's father, Anatoly, helped Vladimir Putin launch his career in politics when he was the mayor of St. Petersburg. Putin then helped Anatoly flee Russia when he was wanted on corruption charges. According to the Moscow News, "Putin's reported affection for the Sobchak family is widely believed to give Ksenia Sobchak a protected status, which may also explain her boldness", such as her encounter in October 2011 with Vasily Yakemenko, the controversial leader of the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth movement, when she reprimanded him for eating at an expensive restaurant in Moscow and published a video of the encounter on the internet. However, less than two months later her further actions have caused her relationship with Putin to look more questionable. After the parliament elections held on December 4, 2011, which are known for the large number of alleged fraud reports, Sobchak joined the protest rallies held in Russia as a response to the alleged electoral frauds. She also took part in the campaign against Putin's re-election, working as an observer during the president elections held on March 4, 2012. She was one of the Russian protest leaders targeted by the Investigative Committee of Russia on June 12, 2012 when her apartment in Moscow was entered and searched.
- 2007: Dance (Потанцуй) (With Timati)
- Mills, Laura; Vasilyeva, Nataliya (14 June 2012). "Ksenia Sobchak: Russian It Girl’s path from parties to protests". Toronto Star. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Barnard, Anne (2008-07-27). "Raucous Russian Tabloids Thrive". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- "Kseniya Sobchak - Biography". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
- Blomfield, Adrian (2009-02-03). "Aeroflot says drunk pilot 'no big deal'". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- "Russia's most desirable single woman". Pravda.ru. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- Splurge scandal at restaurant, The Moscow News, retrieved 15/12/2011
- Ellen Barry (March 17, 2012). "Russia's Scandalous 'It Girl' Remakes Herself as an Unlikely Face of Protest". The New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- Andrew Meier (July 3, 2012). "Ksenia Sobchak, the Stiletto in Putin’s Side". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
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