Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sobchak's New Cause: 'Freedom'

MTA huge photograph of Sobchak flanking Sobchak at the launch Thursday.
The launch of Ksenia Sobchak's youth movement on Thursday was ultra-Sobchak -- hip, self-possessed and just a bit over the top, including Shakespearean actors, a scrumptuous buffet and denim-print wallpaper.

Sobchak, the wealthy socialite and hostess of the "Dom-2" reality show, said the the new movement, called "Vse Svobodny" (or "All Are Free"), would teach young Russians how to be free.

"I want to do something good, a good deed," Sobchak, 24, said at the movement's two-story headquarters on the Arbat. "I want to gather free and individualist and self-confident young people in our movement."

Sporting a fashionable orange blouse and jeans, she added: "I want to teach them how to be free and how to fight for their rights. I'm ready to help any one of them in case they have problems. I'm ready to go to court with them ... if necessary."

Jeans, Sobchak explained, are the symbol of youth and freedom. Hence the wallpaper.

At the movement's offices, jeans-style wallpaper, replete with oversized buttons, plastered the walls. A buffet featuring melon with prosciutto ham, cherry tomatoes with mozzarella, smoked salmon and Italian wine and Russian vodka had been laid out for reporters.

Adding some depth to the movement was Alexander Politkovsky, one of the hosts of the perestroika-era cult television program "Vzglyad," which provided thoughtful analysis of current events.

And, of course, there was the Shakespeare -- a team of actors from the second-tier Spesivtsev Theater performing "Romeo and Juliet" on the Arbat.

"I want to offer concrete help to young people. I can afford it. I dress well and I can afford a lot of things," she told reporters.

Sobchak said she was financing the youth movement out of her own pocket.

She said the idea for the movement came to her while working at "Dom-2."

"Thanks to 'Dom-2' I had the chance to meet different young people and to know their problems," she said. "I understand what these people need and what to give them."

"Dom-2," which is broadcast daily at 9 p.m. on TNT television, follows a group of single young women and men as they build a house. Participants vote one person off the show every week. The goal of the participants is to fall in love. The completed house goes to a happy couple picked by viewers at the season's end.

Even though Sobchak grew up in a family of politicians-- her father, former St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, was once the boss of then-Deputy Mayor Vladimir Putin -- she said the new movement would avoid politics.

After losing a bid for re-election in 1996, Anatoly Sobchak became the target of a relentless corruption investigation. He died in February 2000.

"We have a lot of political youth movements, but I think they are kind of fake," Ksenia Sobchak said. "At home, people don't discuss politics."

But what about that orange blouse? After Ukraine's Orange Revolution in late 2004, democratic activists from Belarus, Moldova and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union began donning orange as a sign of protest.

Asked by a reporter whether she planned a jeans revolution, Sobchak looked at her blouse and quickly explained that it wasn't "really orange. It's reddish."

To date, the Vse Svobodny movement has no members, but Sobchak said she would start officially registering people on Friday.

Youth movements have sprung up across the country in the past few years, with political parties creating their own groups and the Kremlin launching the Nashi movement. The Kremlin movement was meant to stymie a youth-based uprising similar to that in Ukraine from taking place in Russia.