Alexei Navalny publishes a new video allegedly presenting “Putin’s palace”. He wants to prove
that the president is obsessed with wealth and luxury. The Kremlin calls the publication “pure nonsense”.
The opposition member has been in a Moscow remand prison since Monday. But the film that his team is now showing on YouTube was shot and edited in Germany. “I promised you,” he says, “that we would visit Vladimir Putin.”
The opposition has made many videos about them Luxury estate of the mighty in Russia turned. This time he shows a huge magnificent complex on the Black Sea – supposedly “Putin’s palace”. If you look inside, Navalny said, you will understand that “the President of Russia is mentally ill, obsessed with wealth and luxury”. In the video, the opposition activist breaks another taboo by talking about Putin’s family life, his ex-wife, two alleged lovers and their share in the wealth. In the end, he goes so far as to show pictures of an alleged illegitimate daughter.
The “main character of the film”, Putin, shouldn’t believe that “we are afraid of him”.
Navalny traveled to Dresden for the recordings, where Putin served as a KGB officer between 1985 and 1990. He wanted to show how Putin could “go from being an ordinary Soviet officer to being a madman.” To do this, he spikes his video with a confusing number of names and documents, shows graphics that are supposed to explain complicated networks of corporations and bogus companies.
Secret and guarded
He wants to show how Putin bargained his companions with orders and positions in large state corporations. One of his core principles has always been: “If you want to steal from the budget and divert something from state property, share with Putin!” According to Navalny, the president also collected the money for his palace near Gelendzhik on the Russian Black Sea coast, built on the “most secret and best guarded site in all of Russia”.
The photos show a white palace, lined with landscaped gardens, a suspension bridge leads to the guest house, a church, a greenhouse, a helicopter landing pad, an underground ice hockey rink, a tunnel down the cliff to the beach. Passing fishing boats are largely diverted.
Leather armchair and pole dance pole
Navalny says he received the floor plans from designers. In addition, his team received the catalog of one of the exclusive furniture suppliers, Putin was sitting on leather sofas for two million rubles each, more than 24,000 francs. Computer-generated images show the private cinema, the casino, the bedrooms. Above all, the retractable pole dance bar on a stage in the purple salon should be remembered.
It is not entirely new that this palace exists. Photos came to the public almost ten years ago. At the time, however, it was soon said that the palace had been sold – from businessman Nikolai Shamalov, with whom Putin is friends, to businessman Alexander Ponomarenko, whom Putin also knows. According to Navalny, the sale was a hoax.
The Kremlin denies – and warns
The Kremlin dismissed the unveiling video as old hat anyway. “Many years ago we declared that Putin does not have a palace in Gelendzhik,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. He did not see the video, it was “pure nonsense”.
Navalny’s most successful reveal film to date revolved around the luxury real estate of the then Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. In the weeks after the 2017 release, thousands took to the streets protesting corruption. At the beginning of “Putin’s palace”, Navalny’s team put a video appeal:
The audience should demonstrate on Saturday in their cities for Navalny’s release. A protest that is not approved and against which the Kremlin warns.