Caravanserai
Crime & Justice

Documentary spotlights Putin's billion-dollar Black Sea 'bribery' palace

By Caravanserai and AFP

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A aerial view of Russian President Vladimir Putin's 'palace' on the Black Sea is shown on opposition leader Alexei Navalny's blog. [Navalny.com]

MOSCOW -- An investigation published earlier this week into a Black Sea property owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin is once again putting the spotlight on the Russian leader's ties to rampant corruption.

The investigation, published on opposition leader Alexei Navalny's blog with an accompanying two-hour YouTube video recorded before his return to Russia, claims the property cost $1.35 billion and was paid for "with the largest bribe ever".

The report alleges that the property, situated along Russia's Black Sea, is 39 times the size of Monaco and features a casino inside a 17,691-square-metre mansion, along with an ice rink and vineyards.

The video investigation can be seen here on YouTube, and as of Friday (January 22) has been viewed over 55 million times since it was released on Tuesday.

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Another view of Putin's palace. [Navalny.com]

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) owns about 7,000 hectares of land surrounding the property and the complex was financed by Putin's close allies, including Igor Sechin, chief of Russian oil giant Rosneft, and billionaire tycoon Gennady Timchenko, according to the investigation.

A mini-state for a tsar

"It is a truly separate state within Russia. And in this state there is a single and irreplaceable tsar. Putin," Navalny said.

The investigation was published a day after a court sentenced Navalny, whom police detained after returning from Germany for the first time since he was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent in Siberia in August, to 30 days in jail.

The Kremlin opponent on Monday (January 19) called for his supporters to take to the streets in response to his arrest, with his allies planning rallies in Moscow and in cities across the country on Saturday.

The Kremlin on Friday (January 22) vowed to crack down on the protests.

The new investigation, which ends on a call for Russians to rise up against the authorities, echoes a 2017 YouTube video in which Navalny accused then-prime minister Dmitry Medvedev of controlling a luxury property empire.

That investigation sparked large-scale opposition protests.

The existence of the Black Sea property and its links to Putin first became known in 2010 when whistle-blower businessman Sergei Kolesnikov described them in a public letter to Medvedev.

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Putin is a thief!

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Caravanserai, you're a big boy but you still believe these fairy tales - or is it so hard to live without US funding? Fact-check this info - although you guys don't need it, do you? It's not what you get paid for.

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The country is impoverished, but Dear leader is rolling in stolen gold.

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Dear editors, do you think you're gonna be rolling in the money for such libel? Because, as you say, our Czar is so omnipotent. Printing unverified information is vile; do you want to boost your ratings? We have given the country away to our Czar for governing and as a fief. We will build him a second "Louvre" if need be.

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Gotchya, Botox thief.

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All Russians chipped in together to pay for this house :))

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It should be understood there was a time when Anglos, Saxons, and Brits were abused harsher than the Jews and Blacks combined, but no one could write about it. Charlemagne organized the first documented deportation of Saxons in the 8th century. He deported them by the power of the sword, and accompanied the action by genocide and ethnic cleansing. And wearing arm bands with the Star of David wasn't a fascist invention. William the Conqueror imposed similar badges on the Anglos, Saxons and Brits in the 11th century, massacred them, and perpetrated the Holodomor. At the same time, he exacted excruciating taxes from these three nations. About the Holodomor: https://valerongrach.livejournal.com/911148.html French, not English, was the official language in England for 300 years, and was spoken by the English nobles. The British don't write about it because they feel embarrassed... This is where their inferiority complex and often irrational, psychotic behavior comes from...

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Russians are good at stealing. And stealing is huge in Russia.

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It turns out Putin is quite an oligarch and thief himself.

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