VLADIMIR Putin’s £1 billion palace is in fact a building site, a pro-Kremlin news outlet has claimed in a new video.
The Russian president’s arch-foe Alexei Navalny claimed the residence, complete with stripper pole, was built with swindled cash.
A video released by Navalny. and now watched 100 million times, showed its opulent interior including a velvet boudoir said to be for exclusive use of the Kremlin strongman and his cronies.
The 44-year-old Novichok attack survivor and anti-corruption campaigner published details on his website with a scathing attack on Putin.
But a video published on Friday by Mash Telegram claims to show palace to be a construction site and suggested the owner was unknown.
“The location is one slab of concrete,” Mash chief editor Maxim Iksanov says in the six-minute clip, the Moscow Times reports.
Iksanov toured the areas featured in Navalny’s investigation and claimed to show them still under construction.
He said a “technical supervisor who has been monitoring construction for six years” told him that the project will take around five years to complete.
“One last question: Why hasn’t the owner of all this property been named? Whoever you are, please respond,” Iksanov implored.
The enormous palace has been built in secret near Gelendzhik on the Black Sea coast on the Praskoveevka Estate – said to be 39 times the size of Monaco.
Navalny claims to have been given exclusive access to secret plans for the gaudily-decorated palace with the help of contractors paid to refurbish it.
In the video produced by his investigative team before his recent arrest, he describes the obscene luxury.
He said: “This is not a country house, not a cottage, not a residence. It’s a whole city, or rather a kingdom.”
Poking fun at the pole dancing suite – where a garish lit stage is surrounding by red sofas – Navalny’s statement says: “The palace seems to have a striptease bar for Vlad to enjoy pole-dancing!”
Navalny’s chief investigative aide Maria Pevchikh said the video confirmed allegation that the palace had to be gutted and redone because of poor ventilation design that led to mould.
“Satellite images from six years ago showed that the palace was completely ready,” Navalny said the video.
“But then disaster named mould and sloppiness hit. In all, they decided to redo everything.
“They stripped the walls, stripped the marble, took out everything of value, literally threw billions in the trash and started work again.”
‘PLAYED A BLINDER’
Johnson’s vaccine victory as late-night calls force EU to back down
‘LIVES AT RISK’
Workers at Covid testing centre shown ‘fighting and boozing’ in shock video
Social distancing in place for the year unless Covid jab can halt ‘third spike’
Desperate pubs & restaurants must reopen on April 1 or ‘650k firms could fold’
HEADS ON THE BLOC
Merkel & Macron under fire over EU’s disastrous Covid vaccine rollout
BOOHOO ATE YOUR SHOPS
Lavish lifestyle of controversial boss behind £5billion Boohoo empire
Navalny was led away by cops after he flew back to Moscow from Berlin with his wife on January 17.
The brave opposition leader had been recovering in Germany after a Novichok nerve agent attack five months ago.
Last weekend saw anti-Putin demonstrations take place across Russiawith police forcibly detaining his supporters.