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Kommersant Reports Sobchak Leaving Russia

A leading Russian newspaper reports that socialite and government critic Ksenia Sobchak has left or is leaving Russia, at least temporarily, amid concerns for her safety following the slaying of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.

In a report on March 16, Kommersant quoted Sobchak as saying at a party on March 13, "I am leaving Russia for some time tomorrow."

Kommersant cited unidentified friends of Sobchak as saying she was leaving on the recommendation of Russian security services.

In a tweet on March 16, Sobchak said that her friends had "exagerrated a little about immigration" and joked that there was "good wine" at the party.

She did not clarify whether she has left Russia.

Nemtsov's brazen killing near the Kremlin on February 27 underscored the dangers faced by government opponents, and Sobchak said she was threatened by an unknown person who approahed her after his funeral and said: "You are next."

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman has denied a media report alleging the existence of a hit list containing the names of Kremlin opponents.

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