– Oligarch’s daughter flaunts a luxury trip across Europe
Russian influencer Sonia Plotnikova documents on Instagram how she spends her vacation in Europe with her father. But they don’t have to be here.
Always dressed in luxury brands, taking selfies on a horse-drawn carriage in Vienna, showing herself relaxing in Croatia and eating truffle pasta in Venice – Russian influencer Sonia Plotnikova has kept her vast luxury trip to her nearly 130k followers on Instagram for weeks across Europe. Always by her side: her father, Vladimir Plotnikov. But the two really shouldn’t be here – because Plotnikov is a member of the Russian State Duma and a close friend of Vladimir Putin.
Thus, the Russian oligarch is on the EU sanctions list and is not currently allowed to enter Europe. His assets in the European Union must also be frozen. But that doesn’t seem to stop the father and daughter from spending their summer vacation here in the lap of luxury. Thanks to Plotnikwa’s extensive documentation on social media, it is easy to trace how the two entered the European Union.
Plotnikova and her father flew from Russia to the Turkish city of Istanbul – not in a private plane, but in business class at Turkish Airlines. This can be seen in Plotnikoa’s Instagram story from the plane, where the airline’s logo can be seen on the welcome drinks. Upon arriving in Istanbul, the two stayed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and ate, among other things, caviar, baklava, and meat skewers.
The police should have “immediately arrested” Duma politicians
The two are said to have stayed in Istanbul for at least a week before continuing on to Italy. There, the father-daughter duo took a boat ride through the canals in Venice, shown in a joint shot with the caption “Dad” with a heart-shaped emoji.
But they did not stay long in Italy – they continued to reach Croatia, where three days ago Plotnikova uploaded another photo of a father and daughter from the lobby of the luxurious Kempinski Adriatic Hotel on the Istrian Peninsula. According to her Instagram stories, Plotnikova is staying there with a cocktail in hand by the hotel pool or by the sea. Latest destination: Vienna, where the influencer drinks coffee at Starbucks and visits a Chanel store — both brands that have closed their locations in Russia.
But how could Plotnikov get everywhere without any problems? asks expert Volker Boehme-Nessler, professor of European law at Karl von Ossetsky University in Oldenburg. “It could be a glitch or negligence — or corruption,” he told T-Online. But a fake passport is also possible.
The police should have arrested the politician in Douma “on the spot, escorted him to the border and deported him,” says Bohme-Nessler. The EU Commission can warn all countries in which Plotnikov has stayed or even file a lawsuit because they have violated applicable EU law.
Plotnikova reacts defiantly to criticism
Plotnikova, with her carefree photos, has drawn harsh criticism on social media. And under their posts, users comment “You are not welcome here, crawl back to Russia!” , “Stay away from Europe” or, in reference to the European Court of Human Rights: “I hope your next stop in Europe is The Hague.” Plotnikova responded defiantly to hate in an Instagram story: “Proud to be Russian” and “Write your hate comments under this photo.”
The fact that the illegal trip to Europe with her father is now getting media attention thanks to her reports on social media does not seem to bother Sonya Plotnikova much. In an Instagram story, the daughter of the Russian oligarch posted screenshots of several negative headlines without comment – and then cheerfully posted photos of her expensive lunch, which again consisted of truffle pasta.
Lisa Fullman Life editor. She studied German history and literature at the University of Zurich.More information