Russian TV host, a daughter of Putin’s mentor, said to get Israeli citizenship

A prominent Russian TV presenter and former presidential candidate whose father was Vladimir Putin’s political mentor has been granted Israeli citizenship, according to a report Saturday.

Citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter, Haaretz daily said both Ksenia Sobchak and her son were recently granted citizenship.

According to the newspaper, Sobchak’s maternal grandfather is Jewish, as is her baby’s father, actor Maksim Vitorgan. Under the Israeli Law of Return, anyone with a Jewish grandparent can immigrate to the country.

The report added that her current boyfriend, theater director Konstantin Bogomolov, is said to have also obtained Israeli citizenship.

However, according to the Daily MailSobchak said on social media that the report was “propaganda” spread by the Kremlin, but did not deny it.

The British tabloid said it also confirmed last month that it was vacationing in Israel, but insisted she only had Russian citizenship.

Sobchak is among a number of Russian celebrities who have spoken out against the invasion of Ukraine. Russia has criminalized vocal opposition to its military attack on its neighbor with violators punishable with up to 15 years in prison.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Ksenia Sobchak during his meeting with opposition candidates who ran against him in the presidential elections Sunday, March 18, 2018, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 19, 2018. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP)

Her father was former Saint Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, who was Putin’s boss in the 1990s. The Russian President is widespread rumored to be her godfather, although she has denied this.

Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak votes in the Russian presidential election in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)

Alongside her television career, Sobchak challenged Putin in the 2018 presidential election but received less than two percent of the vote, a race with an outcome that was never in doubt.

In a 2015 interview, Sobchak said she had considered Israel as a possible destination should she leave Russia in the event of war, the report said.

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