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Sobchak Alludes to Presidential Ambitions in Glamour Russia Interview

Ksenia Sobchak (Vyacheslav Prokofiev / TASS)

Journalist and socialite Ksenia Sobchak does not deny a possible presidential campaign in the November issue of Glamour Russia.

The Russian edition of the American fashion magazine published an interview with Sobchak on Oct. 10, highlighting her ambitions to run against President Vladimir Putin in the 2018 elections.

Sobchak, a talk-show host for the independent Dozhd TV, is the daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, the first democratically-elected mayor of St. Petersburg. Her father was a close associate of Putin until his death under mysterious circumstances in 2000.

An outspoken critic of Putin, Sobchak confronted him at a nationally-televised press conference in 2014 about his continued support for Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov. As a result, she and other liberals were threatened by Kadyrov, reportedly forcing her to go abroad for a period.

The latest print edition of Glamour Russia has Sobchak on the cover wearing a shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Women Power,” and the interview inside promises to cover her “daily life as an editor and presidential ambitions.”

The interview, conducted by editor-in-chief Maria Fedorova, is the first instance in which Sobchak does not deny she is “a potential candidate for the highest post in the country.”

Asked by Fedorova if her “show-business past” would harm her chances, Sobchak replied: “It may have hurt some, but I think for me, it will help.”

Commenting on a possible presidential campaign, Sobchak said, “Ksenia Sobchak as president is like Sergei Shnurov as an artist. It's satire. It's a very high-level art project.”

Shnurov is a Russian musician and songwriter best known for the ska-punk band Leningrad, which is popular for its satirical takes on modern Russian life.

Speculation about Sobchak's run began after Vedomosti published an article Sept. 1, in which a source in the presidential administration said that a woman candidate was being reviewed as Putin's rival and that Sobchak would be “the ideal option.”

For her part, Sobchak said she was “an independent person” with no relationship with the presidential administration. On Sept. 20, Sobchak told Dozhd she was involved in a major project related to journalism, not politics.

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