Investigation of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) Alexei Navalny “Putin’s Palace. The story of the biggest bribe” became most popular videos on YouTube in Russia at the end of 2021. The investigation, released on January 19, was viewed more than 119.8 million times.
This nearly two-hour film says that close friends of Vladimir Putin took part in the construction of the facility near Gelendzhik, and the building itself is guarded by the Federal Security Service and the Federal Security Service.
The FBK claimed that the alleged 68-hectare residence of the Russian president at Cape Idokopas was built in 2010 at a cost of about $ 1 billion.
Meduza spoke with the builders of the facility and found out that Putin had visited this residence at least four times, and the construction was completely controlled by the FSO, the Federal Security Service. Putin himself stated that this object never belonged to him or his close relatives. After that, his press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the object belongs to entrepreneurs, but they “have no right to disclose the names of these owners” and “are not going to do this.”
After the release of Navalny’s film, businessman and close friend of Putin, Arkady Rotenberg, named himself the owner of the palace in Gelendzhik. He claimed that he plans to build an apart-hotel on Idokopas, so there is “a fairly large number of rooms.” Ecologist Dmitry Shevchenko in an interview with Present Time explained why the palace in Gelendzhik cannot be an apart-hotel.
BBC investigators later noted that the documents they had at their disposal showed “the key role of the state in construction” and generally confirmed many of the findings of Navalny’s investigation.
In the spring of this year, Open Media journalists tried to upload a film about the alleged Putin’s palace to the video hosting RuTube, owned by Gazprom-Media, but it did not pass moderation.