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Environmentalists crash Putins seaside palace

France 24, The Observers
July 5, 2011

Seven months ago, a Russian businessman came forward with what he said was evidence that Russias Prime Minister Vladamir Putin was, at great expense, building himself a luxurious palace off the shores of the Black Sea, a charge the Russian leader has denied.

Last week, a handful of environmentalists and political opposition party members made their way to the site of Putins alleged fairytale home to check out the mysterious place and assess its environmental impact.

In January, the FRANCE 24 Observers website published an article on the controversy triggered by photos published on the internet of Putins seaside palace near the southern town Paraskoveevka, on the Black Sea. The site also published comments made by Sergei Kolesnikov, a Russian businessman who had been involved in the buildings construction, and who maintained that the prime minister was its true owner. Although officially classified as a centre to be used for medical care, Kolesnikov was able to use a paper trail detailing the buildings financing to link it to Putin.

In the wake of these revelations, Putins spokesperson denied any connection between the prime minister and the property. In March, the palace and its surrounding land were bought by the Russian millionaire, Alexander Ponomarenko. According to Kilesnikov, the buildings sale was nothing more than a smoke screen to conceal the propertys true owner, Vladimir Putin.

A few months later, after realising that construction on the controversial seaside estate was still going on, a group of environmentalists from the Russian organisation Ekovakhta and members of the Yabloko and Solidarnost political opposition parties decided to launch a public inspection of the area. On June 26, about a dozen or so ecologists and activists trespassed onto the immense coastal property, ignoring the fence erected around the site.

See also:

The original publication

Human Rights

YABLOKO Against Corruption

Protection of Environment

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YABLOKOs activists arrested by Putins country cottage at the Black Sea Coast. Press Release, June 25, 2011.

Tuapse printing facility refused to print YABLOKOs bulletin for the rally obeying the order from the authorities. Press Release, June 24, 2011.

YABLOKOs activists get imprisonment verdicts, Press Release, February 28, 2011

Young YABLOKO activists hang a banner Freedom to Political Prisoners! opposite of the Kremlin. Press Release, March 3, 2011.

Friendly Oligarch Buys 'Putin' Palace . The Moscow Times, March 4, 2011.


July 5, 2011

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