Alexei Navalny describes Putin’s alleged secret ‘palace’
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An investigative team of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, revealed details of the palace a year ago using computer generated images based on blueprints. At the time the Kremlin dismissed the images as “cartoons” and fakes.
However, a cache of 500 images from “Putin’s Palace” show that the depiction of the lavish fittings was accurate.
One of Navalny’s allies involved in the project Georgy Alburov said the initial claims of luxury were justified.
He said: “If it seemed to you that we went too far with the [mock-up] interiors — that we exaggerated and embellished them — you were very mistaken.
“Life, as it happens, exceeded any of our expectations.”
Mr Alburov and another Navalny ally, Maria Pevchikh, presented the images in a mocking video report last year.
They focused on the kitsch and grandiose nature of the palace.
In the images, corridors, bathrooms, a bedroom, and halls are shown decorated with chandeliers, frescos and wood panelling.
There is also gilded stucco work and the two-headed eagle symbolic of Russia’s coat of arms.
A swimming pool is seen with neoclassical marble columns while a saloon for smoking hookah pipes has a platform for pole dancing.
Navalny’s original two hour expose of the palace has now been seen 121 million times on Youtube.
It claims that the $1billion palace was built for Putin but is being looked after by pro-Kremlin oligarchs known as “wallets”.
“Putin’s palace” is near Gelendzhik on Russia’s Black Sea coast surrounded by trees and close to seaside cliffs.
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It allegedly has a theatre, underground ice hockey rink and a spa with space for storing therapeutic mud.
There is a 7,000 hectare buffer zone around the property by the Federal Security Service (FSB).
Putin has denied he owns the property with billionaire oligarch Arkady Rotenberg claiming ownership last year.
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