VLADIMIR Putin's reported goddaughter has been filmed fleeing Russia on foot after her luxury home in Russia was raided by the police.
Ksenia Sobchak, 40, a former reality TV presenter who once modelled for Playboy, was caught on video hours after Russian state media announced she was facing arrest on extortion charges.
CCTV footage shared online shows the Moscow socialite covering her face as she flees over the border from Belarus to Lithuania.
She is believed to have given police the slip by buying flights to Turkey and Dubai before instead escaping into the EU.
The extraordinary video was reportedly taken from Belarusian border cameras at the Vidzy border crossing, 106 miles north of the country's capital Minsk.
An unknown man is seen carrying her bag and looking back as if to check the pair isn't being followed.
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He seems to warn her to lower her head at one point to avoid being seen by cameras.
Timestamps show Sobchak crossed through into Lithuania at 1.32pm on Wednesday.
She is heard in the footage being asked by a male border control officer: "Where are you heading?"
Sobchak replies: "To Lithuania," before carrying her bag to the frontier accompanied by two uniformed men.
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Lithuania recently banned Russian citizens from entering the country on short-stay "tourist" visas in response to the war in Ukraine.
The head of the Lithuanian State Security Department, Darius Jauniskis, said Sobchak crossed the border legally with an Israeli passport.
Since there is no "specific intelligence" that she is a threat to national security, she can stay in the Baltic country for up to 90 days without a visa, he told local radio on Thursday.
"If there was such information, of course, certain measures would be taken," he added.
The video was leaked online via a channel on the messaging app Telegram with apparent links to Belarusian president and Putin crony Alexander Lukashenko.
If there was such information, of course, certain measures would be taken
No attempt is made to stop Sobchak from leaving, despite the fact she is wanted in connection with a criminal probe in Moscow.
The investigation – which could have landed her a 15-year prison sentence – is linked to a criminal probe in Moscow involving her business associate.
On Tuesday, her commercial director Kirill Sukhanov and Russian journalist Arian Romanovsky were both arrested on blackmail charges.
Sobchak was accused of "extortion to obtain property on a particularly large scale".
Russian state media announced that Sobchak had left Belarus for Lithuania just 36 minutes after she crossed the border.
A "high-ranking official" is believed to have tipped her off about her arrest, according to Russian political scientist Sergei Markov.
This may indicate that she was given permission by Putin – at least indirectly – to escape to the West.
She fled dramatically from Russia to Belarus by car just hours after police raided her luxury country home outside Moscow.
Sobchak has hit out at her business associates' arrests, branding them "laughable nonsense," and accusing authorities of "more oppression".
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Thursday branded Sobchak a "hypocrite" for fleeing her country.
She had earlier insisted she wouldn't quit Russia and denied claims she had secretly acquired Israeli citizenship.
Following the invasion of Ukraine, Sobchak travelled to Israel and back to Russia, but denied that she had an Israeli passport.
Sobchak was once dubbed Moscow's Paris Hilton thanks to her glitzy lifestyle.
She hosted the Russian version of Big Brother and once posed for Playboy, before bizarrely standing against her rumoured godfather Putin in the 2018 presidential election.
Sobchak's parents were close allies of Putin, and he even attended her baptism, which has led to the widespread belief she is her goddaughter.
Her father Anatoly Sobchak taught Putin law at university and later appointed him his deputy when he became mayor of St Petersburg.
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It was former KGB spy Putin's first job in politics and set him on a path to becoming president.
In a rare public show of emotion, Vlad was even filmed crying when he attended his former mentor's funeral in 2000.
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