On the anniversary of the publication of the investigation “Putin’s Palace. The Story of the Biggest Bribe”, Alexei Navalny’s team published photographs that allegedly depict the real interiors of this palace.
In the film about the palace, which has been watched by more than 120 million people on Youtube, the interiors of the building were shown in 3D visualizations. This caused some commentators to doubt that the interiors are really the way the investigators claim.
“Today we will dot all the i’s. We will dispel any doubts about whether the palace exists or not. How it looks – inside, outside. What is there and what was there. We will show you hundreds of real photos,” the team says in a new publication Navalny.
Most of the interior photos are similar to previously published renderings. They differ in details – as the investigators note, in reality there was even more gilding and other decorations (including stylized Russian coats of arms) than in the plans.
It is alleged that the photo was sent to the investigators from the construction site. How their authenticity is confirmed is not specified. Apparently, we are talking about photographs of previous years, since by the time Navalny’s film was released in January 2021, all the interiors of the “palace” had been dismantled, and the premises were being renovated.
The almost two-hour film by Navalny’s team says that close friends of Vladimir Putin took part in the construction of the palace near Gelendzhik, and that 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 a billion dollars.
Meduza spoke with the builders of the facility and found out that Putin had visited the residence at least four times, and that the FSO was in full control of the construction. Putin 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.”
Businessman and close friend of Putin Arkady Rotenberg called himself the owner of the palace in Gelendzhik. He claimed that he plans to build an apartment hotel on Idokopas, so there are “a fairly large number of rooms.” Ecologist Dmitry Shevchenko, in an interview with Current Time, said that the palace in Gelendzhik cannot be an apart-hotel.
BBC investigators later noted that the documents that came into their possession show “the key role of the state in the construction” and generally confirm many of the conclusions of Navalny’s investigation.
In the spring of 2021, Open Media journalists tried to upload this video to the RuTube video hosting, owned by Gazprom Media, but it did not pass moderation.