TV presenter, editor-in-chief of L’Officiel Russia magazine Ksenia Sobchak announced on October 18 that she intends to run for president of Russia in 2018. The fact that Sobchak can go to the presidency, said the last six weeks – but the TV host until the last time called this information rumors. About what the program Sobchak will be and who will enter its headquarters, while little is known reliably: it is clear, for example, that political consultant Vitaly Shklyarov is co-advising her, co-author of the success of opposition candidates in the elections of municipal deputies in Moscow. “Meduza” tells how the nomination of Sobchak occurred and what is known about her campaign.
Image of a modern young woman
For the first time the information that the TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak can put forward her candidacy in the presidential election appeared on September 1, 2017. Vedomosti wrote that the presidential administration is looking for a woman to participate in the campaign and is considering Sobchak among several other candidates as a possible sparring partner of Vladimir Putin. “The ideal option is Ksenia Sobchak, who demonstrates the image of a modern young woman who would like to go into politics: smart, bright, interesting, but not in all respects the image of a typical Russian woman, the question is whether she will decide,” the publication wrote citing the source , close to the presidential administration (AP). Sources of Meduza confirm that the domestic political bloc of the AP actually collected proposals from close experts about who could perform a female role in the elections.
Sobchak herself after the publication of the material was indignant in the instagram that the journalists “did not find it necessary to get at least some kind of comment” from her. “I am an independent person and I have never been seen and never will be with any” apeshechka “and other hell. Than I’m very proud, “she said. “I do not know what people are discussing in high offices, but I’ve been watching carefully our political landscape for a long time.” And I have a diagnosis – sad shit is your policy today, gentlemen! Boring and disgusting. ” Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the possible participation of a woman in presidential elections, said at the time that “the Kremlin did not think about it.”
Nevertheless, Sobchak’s nomination for the presidential election continued to be discussed; a few days later Putin commented on this information with the words “well for God’s sake”. He said that he respected Xenia’s father Anatoly Sobchak, considers him an outstanding figure in modern Russian history, “but when it comes to running for president, such personal things can not play any significant role” (Putin began his political career in administration Sobchak, who was then the head of St. Petersburg). Putin added that in case of nominating the result, Sobchak, like other candidates, will depend on how she will build her campaign. “It’s not me who should determine who is better for the Russian people as head of state. Ultimately, this is determined in the elections, “Putin assured.
Two weeks later, information appeared that Sobchak was looking for a leader for his campaign headquarters. Among other things, the candidatures of Natalia Sindeeva, the founder of the Spid.Center fund, Anton Krasovsky, the journalist Roman Supere, the former head of the human rights department of “Open Russia” Maria Baronova and the former chief editor of the “Rain” Mikhail Zygary were named as candidates for the general director of the television channel Dozhd (where Sobchak worked) . None of them officially confirmed that Sobchak addressed them. Russian service BBC with reference to people whom Sobchak offered this post, wrote that the idea of nominating herself for the presidency was suggested to her in the presidential administration – she liked the project, but Sobchak did not allocate the budget. “At the meeting, she tells what an important story is that a woman will fight for the presidency, how important it is for the country’s development,” said the BBC’s interlocutor. “Sobchak stresses that her campaign should not be political.”
“I hear only from journalists about their alleged nomination. Personally, I did not say anything like that to anyone, “Sobchak said in response. “The rumors about my nomination are provocation and another attempt at discrediting.” She linked such news with “provocation related to another project”. “I have a project, it’s journalistic, but it’s connected with politics too,” she said, adding that she had discussed it with Sindeeva. Later, she confirmed that she actually communicated with some famous people, “but not only with these and on another topic” – for her new “big and important” project. “Now there is a risk that it can not take place at all because the situation around me is extremely aggravated,” she said. The Bell edition suggested that it was a political TV show for the elections; sources “Meduza” assumed that it could be the launch of its own channel on yutyube.
Cannibals and puppets
Critically on the news of Sobchak’s nomination, Alexei Navalny, the founder of the Anti-Corruption Fund, reacted, who himself conducts a presidential campaign (the state does not plan to allow him to run at least until 2028 because of his previous conviction in the Kirovles case-in particular, head of the Central Electoral Commission Ella Pamfilova). Navalny said that “Sobchak, being a very bright, recognizable and attractive person”, adheres to “rather cannibalistic views on politics and economics”. Navalny noted that “judging by how interesting she is, she is freaking out, she still wants to run”, – and urged Sobchak not to participate in the “rather disgusting Kremlin game titled” We will attract a liberal laughingstock to distract attention “. The head of the Naval campaign, Leonid Volkov, in turn, wrote about the nomination of Sobchak: “What seemed first a misunderstanding, and then a joke, is rapidly becoming a fact” – and added that “this will be a very stupid story.” (Aleksei Navalny, in early June 2017, before giving a TV broadcaster to the interview on Rain, remarked that “anyone with presidential ambitions, this is Ksenia Sobchak.”)
Sobchak, in response to the criticism of Navalny, said that she adheres to moderate liberal views, and not “cannibals”, she said she is not a “puppet” and noted that her participation in the recent presidential elections has been so much said that she ” willy-nilly began to think about it. ”
To abandon the “contractual match” Sobchak also called on the former owner of Euroset, Evgeny Chichvarkin, who left Russia for London. He explained that this does not end any good and she “makes Putin legitimate and knocks down Alexei Navalny.” The businessman cited the example of the billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who participated in the presidential elections and was “ponipulated.” “I will be forced to send you and your entire team to *** if you do it. Please do not do this, “Chichvarkin said. “Yes you went to ***”, – his husband, the actor Maxim Vitorgan answered for Sobchak. Sobchak was also joined by musician Sergei Shnurov, who wrote a poem about “kind of democrats” Navalny and Chichvarkin in instagram (and on the day of nomination Sobchak “Leningrad” released a video for the song “Candidate” with the words “Far from the people all these – that Navalny, that Putin, that Trump “).
On October 10, Sobchak interviewed Glamor about “editorial everyday life and presidential ambitions”, where her nomination was practically discussed as a solved issue. To the question of the editor-in-chief Glamor Masha Fedorova “Tell me now as a potential candidate for the highest post in the country: do not you think that your past in show business will hurt you?” Sobchak replies: “Someone, maybe, would hurt , and I, I think, will help. I’m just such a person – like an anthill “Anthill”. Many different layers, but in the end I have one cake. I communicate with different people, I’m interested in everything, I want to know everything, participate in everything, learn every second – this is my life. ” In the headline of the interview was quoted “Ksenia Sobchak president is a banter. Art project of a very high level. ” In October, there was news that Sobchak had met with Vladimir Putin. The meeting took place in preparation for the film about the life and career of Anatoly Sobchak, which she shoots on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of his birth (although the date has already passed – Sobchak was born on August 10). “It is assumed that Vladimir Vladimirovich will act as one of the speakers in the film”, – noted her mother Lyudmila Narusova.
Sobchak will take part in the elections for the first time. She began to actively pursue politics during the protest rallies of the winter 2011 – spring 2012: she acted at the rallies, was fined a thousand rubles for protest festivities after the events of May 6; in June 2012, her apartment was searched. At the same time, Sobchak urged not to try to change power. “The most important thing is to influence the authorities, and not fight for power,” she declared at one of the rallies. A few years earlier, in May 2006, Sobchak, which at that time was the leading reality show “Dom-2”, announced the creation of the youth movement “Everybody is free”, explaining that “the struggle for rights can be fun, However, this initiative has not received any continuation.
Sobchak against all
Sobchak reported on her nomination in a letter that was published on the website of Vedomosti on the evening of October 18. In it, she writes that participation in elections is the best legal way to show disagreement and can not be ignored, even if Navalny is not registered. According to Sobchak, she wants to act as a kind of column “against all”, to be voted for by everyone who is against Putin, Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov and other traditional participants in the presidential election. Sobchak promised to use the elections as a platform for campaigning and talk about how bad the situation is in the country, to a wide audience – not only to those who subscribed to the Dozhd television channel and watch the news on yutube.
At the web page address where Sobchak’s appeal was published, it can be seen that it is dated September 30. The domain addresses associated with the campaign (including the address on which the official site of the candidate “Sobchak against all” is located) were registered on October 11. At the same time the site sobchak2024.com was registered, from which there is a redirect to “Sobchak against all”.
The editor-in-chief of Vedomosti Ilya Bulavinov, in response to the question of Meduza, regarding the date in the address of the web page, said that he can not “neither confirm nor disprove anything.” He also declined to comment on the information that Demian Kudryavtsev, a member of the board of directors of the newspaper (his family owns Vedomosti), is participating in the Sobchak campaign.
About the fact that Kudryavtsev helps Sobchak, “Meduza” told a source who participates in the TV presenter campaign; other media also wrote about it (for example, The New Times and “Rain”). Sam Kudryavtsev in a conversation with the Meduza on the afternoon of October 18 – even before the appeal was published in Vedomosti, – said that he has no relation to the headquarters, but has “friendly relations only with Ksenia Sobchak herself.” In the evening of October 18, he again told Meduza that Sobchak would not “participate” in the presidential campaign.
The interlocutor of Meduza, close to the campaign, also said that it involved the sponsored by Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s “Open Russia”, but Khodorkovsky’s spokesman Maxim Dbar said it was not. “We are in no way involved in Sobchak’s potential nomination to the presidency,” said Dbar. “If one of our employees or activists wants to participate in it, the conditions will be the same as in the case of the Navalny project: we do not mind, participate, but on our own behalf.” Khodorkovsky himself tweeted that in the video message Sobchak “there is something” and she “can help people understand the essence of” elections without choice “”
Alexei Navalny and the head of his presidential staff, Leonid Volkov, are now under arrest – for calls for participation in an illegal protest. Press secretary of Navalny Kira Yarmysh and head of his Moscow headquarters Nikolay Lyaskin did not answer the calls of Meduza.
Journalist Mikhail Zygar, whom the Meduza’s interlocutors continue to associate with Sobchak’s headquarters, also said that he had nothing to do with the campaign. Journalist Anton Krasovsky, who headed the presidential headquarters of Mikhail Prokhorov in 2012, said he was ready to support Sobchak in any capacity. “If I understand correctly the principle of this campaign, this is a campaign of conscription, not an agreement,” Krasouski said to Meduza. – This is a story about “and let’s you whoever you want, join me, we’ll agree: want, work fulltime, want, just support.” For my part, I say: I support Ksenia Anatolyevna, and everything that depends on me, so that she beautifully passed the election, I will do. ”
Several media outlets also reported that Vitaly Shklyarov, a political technologist who worked in the US with a member of the democratic presidential primaries of Bernie Sanders, would work at Sobchak’s headquarters and also advised the headquarters of the United Democrats, created by former State Duma deputy Dmitry Gudkov, in the municipal elections in Moscow in September 2017 (in the end, “United Democrats” managed to get more than a quarter of the mandates). Shklyarov confirmed The Bell that he would participate in the Sobchak campaign. In the code of the Sobchak website, the addresses of the site that the United Democrats used during the campaign were discovered. The head of Gudkov’s headquarters Maxim Katz said that the representatives of the headquarters “discuss the sale of a license for the use of the system”, which was used in the elections of municipal deputies, but noted that they are ready to interact only with “Kremlin-independent candidates” and “according to [Sobchak] such the impression does not add up. ”
Now Ksenia Sobchak is on the TV channel “Rain” talk show “Sobchak alive” and works as the editor-in-chief of the magazine L’Officiel. As she will combine journalistic activities with political, it is still unknown. The phones of the general director of “Rain” Natalia Sindeeva in the evening of October 18 did not work. A source in L’Officiel told Meduza that Sobchak had warned the editorial board that on October 18, before publishing his statement, he was not going to quit.
Spokesperson Sobchak Ksenia Chudinova told Meduza that she can not name the names of the people who will join the campaign headquarters. She said that this information will be announced at a press conference on Tuesday, October 24. Dmitry Peskov, the presidential press secretary, said that “Xenia is a talented person” who “fully suits the provisions of our Constitution” and “gained experience in recent years, in a variety of areas,” but “if she has any views on politics, it will have to gain experience there from scratch. ” “Politics is different from journalism and show business, it’s a completely different substance. Politics implies the will of people, “he told Rain. “If Ksenia is able to respond to this will of the people, she will have chances in politics.”
Immediately after the announcement of the nomination Sobchak gave an interview to the channel “Rain”, on which she works. In particular, she said that if the candidacy of Aleksei Navalny was registered, “we’ll talk to him [and] I’ll shoot in his favor.” According to the “Levada Center” from August 2017, Sobchak’s anti-rating was 8 percentage points – one less than that of Navalny.
Original in Russian: Meduza.io