In July 2023, a case began that would result in the conviction of several high-profile individuals. At its center was Kirill Sukhanov, who served as the former commercial director of Ksenia Sobchak’s holding company “Caution Media”. On Monday, February 12th, Sukhanov was sentenced to 7.5 years in a maximum security colony by the Khamovnichesky Court of Moscow. He had been found guilty of extorting 11 million rubles from Rostec head Sergei Chemezov.
Sukhanov’s co-conspirators were also convicted. Former Tatler magazine editor-in-chief Arian Romanovsky (Kuzmin according to his passport) and Timur Bigaev were also sentenced to 7 years in a maximum security colony for their involvement in the case. The decision was announced by Judge Andrei Lutov.
The trial was held behind closed doors, but investigators alleged that Sukhanov had extorted money from Chemezov in order to “block” defamatory information about him in a telegram channel where Romanovsky and Bigaev were administrators. The defendants denied the charges, stating that they were only discussing removing an offensive post for 800 thousand rubles while the ten million rubles involved another contract for moderation of publications mentioning Chemezov’s name. They argued that their communication was purely businesslike and devoid of any threats or demands on their part.
Despite initially denying any involvement with the “Lights Out” channel or its fake counterpart containing information about an alleged investigation against Chemezov, Ksenia Sobchak later returned to Moscow and offered an apology to Chemezov for the actions of her employees.