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Recently, nearly 500 pictures of Vladimir Putin’s palace have been leaked. Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation published the images of a secret mansion on Russia’s Black Sea Coast. This confirms the $1.4 billion (£1bn) lavish home built for the personal use of the Russian president.
Putin denies that this second secret palace exists. However, the recent pictures produced refute that claim. Last year the Russian president claimed Navalny’s images were fraudulent and looked like “cartoons.” Initially, when the second mansion was revealed, what was leaked were floorplans and contracts.
The most recently leaked pictures were taken during the construction of the vast home. How Navalny came to have custody of these images is not clear. He is a 44-year-old lawyer and anti-corruption activist. He is a well-known Putin critic. It is believed that Navalny is the only one who could possibly defeat the Russian president.
The original images were revealed shortly after Navalny’s arrest. He believes the charges were politically motivated. Additionally, one should note that Putin and his administration do not publicly mention the activist’s name. Instead, the report was revealed in the form of a video on YouTube, and it became the most-watched Russian video in 2021.
The combination of the leaked video and the arrest of the activist lit a variety of protests in January nationwide. It also called for the end of Putin’s 20-year-reign.
At this time, Navalny is serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence in a prison camp.
The monumental mansion is equipped with all the modern-day luxuries Putin’s money can buy.
- A gigantic marble swimming pool decorated with the busts of Greek gods
- A hookah lounge
- A strip club complete with a pole bar for dancers
- Wine cellar
- A theater
- An ice hockey rink
- A no-fly zone
- Works of art
- Hundreds of gilded double-edged eagles on the property, which is the symbol of the Russian state
- 2500-meter greenhouse
- 80-meter bridge
- 2500-square-meter tea house
- Multiple residential buildings
- Secret tunnel
- Beauty parlor
- Water disco
- Bathing bowls
- Underground rooms
- Super-exclusive Italian furniture purchased from the Citterio factory and company named Pozzoli
- A Vegas-style casino
A researcher for the Anti-Corruption Foundation, George Alburov, stated that Putin was worse than imagined. Reporters quoted him saying:
If it seemed to you that we went too far in the film with the interiors, exaggerated and embellished, then you were mistaken. Life, as it happens, exceeded any of our expectations.
A website built to host the images of the secret mansion states,
This is the most protected place in Russia, in fact, a state within a state, and this is Putin’s biggest secret.
The website claims the secret location is guarded by hundreds of thousands of members of security, an impregnable fence, contains its own port, a church, and its own border checkpoint. Putin also has carpenters and gardeners on the property, specifically catering to the rich and elite.
The many who are employed at this location are not allowed to bring devices to work with them, such as a camera phone. Upon arrival, glove boxes and trunks are checked by security.
The secret palace spans across 17,691 m² acres of land. It is the largest private residential building in the country and is 39 times the size of Monaco. The mansion cost $1.35 billion and was allegedly constructed with illicit funds.
Members of the Anti-Corruption Foundation assert that in 2010, Sergei Kolesnikov, a businessman from St. Petersburg, wrote an open letter to Putin. Apparently, he was involved with the construction of the personal palace. In the letter, he writes about what was constructed, where it is located, the source of funding for the project, Putin’s name registration, fraud committed with offshore companies and shareholders, in short – everything.
Putin told the Russian State-affiliated press, “Nothing there belongs to me and never belongs to me.”
Written by Jeanette Vietti
International Business Times: Photos of Putin’s alleged “secret palace” go viral; strip club, casino, hookah lounge in it [details]; by Manpriya Khurana
Republic World: Vladimir Putin’s Alleged ‘secret Palace’ Hosts Private Strip Club, Hookah Lounge; See Pics; by Zaini Majeed
Times Now News: Hookah lounge, strip club, theatre and more: Inside Vladimir Putin’s alleged ‘secret palace’
Featured Image Courtesy of Ninara’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Katerina Sipaeva’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License