Russian President Vladimir Putin is known to own eight homes across the country, but none have caused as much controversy and interest as the $1.4 Billion Black Sea coastal palace, the residence called “Putin’s Country Cottage” according to WIO News.
Anti-corruption campaigner (FBK) Alexei Navalny recently released a video entitled, “Putin’s Palace” alleging the property was paid for “with the largest bribe in history” according to BBC Russia.
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According to Art Net, the nearly two-hour video has sparked widespread protests and includes receipts of $27 million sofas and ice hockey rinks.
As far back as 2012, reporter Tim Whewell alleged that the palace was built to Putin’s specifications for his personal use, however, in light of Navalny’s claim (he has since been jailed for 30 days for parole violations) Putin claims the palace and all items within it, don’t belong to him.
Arkady Rotenberg, long-time associate of Putin’s claims he owns the building, which may be a blessing or a curse. The palace has long-since been plagued with mold issues, presumably because it’s sits alongside the sea border but contains some of the largest luxury items seen in mega-rich celebrity homes and others.
The palace sits on 170 acres and is surrounded by woods and the Black Sea. It’s reportedly placed in a no-fly zone and boats are not allowed to come anywhere near the property. The palace itself is surround by a 20-foot-tall fence and is heavily guarded. The palace is an estimated 17,691 square meter building, but let’s start with the details of the grounds.
A $5 million arboretum includes rare trees, not native to Russia. A short distance away is a $4 million greenhouse with exotic flowers and plants. The large vineyard produces exclusive wine used to serve guests. According to The Richest, Putin spends at least $2 million per year on a staff of 40 landscapers and gardeners.
Continue on through the property and find two helipads sitting atop a grassy mound. Under the mound sits an underground bunker for safety and a tunnel, leading to Putin’s private beach. For guests, Putin has included a 27,000 square foot tea house and an outdoor amphitheater for concerts. There is a subterranean ice hockey rink and a large church on the property, several garages, communication tower, staff buildings and a gas station.
As guests enter the home, they walk through a solid gold gate and a courtyard garden. The front hallway is covered with gold accents and eagle insignias. His “meeting room” is decorated with Renaissance-style watercolor murals and the walls are covered in rare artwork, commissioned for a total $5 million. There are two chandeliers, estimated at $250,000 per piece.
A tour of the first floor of the palace includes a music room, gym, dining room featuring $500,000 in Pozzoli, Italian luxury furniture and a $54,000 bar table. There are six bedrooms, also adorned with luxury Italian furniture.
A bar room contains more than $100,000 of wine and spirits and leads to a luxurious auditorium, spanning two floors in height.
The second-floor incudes Putin’s Master Bedroom, with a $27,000 Pozzoli sofa, a $27,000 dressing table and hidden cabinet for the large television. Walk past the four spare bedrooms and into the Casino room Putin calls the “hall of entertaining” filled with slot machines and Vegas-approved gambling tables, though gambling is banned in the majority of the country.
Next door is a Hookah room with high-quality velvet furniture and a small center stage with retractable stripper pole.
When Putin is ready to relax, he can take the elevator down to the basement featuring a $10 million swimming pool and connected to a spa room, complete with sauna and massage tables. Also included is several plunge tubs and an aqua-discotheque with swim-up bar.
Past several staff and storage rooms, visitors would find a large kitchen area for Putin’s personal chefs to prepare premium meals for the president.
Also in the basement, a cinema room allows Putin and guests to view their favorite films, a wine cellar and wine tasting room includes $1 million in rare and custom wines.
The recent investigation by Navalny, he says, is just the beginning. As leader of the FBK, the organization has several other avenues to expose Putin’s financial and political agenda.
According to TIME, it’s unclear how often Putin visits the residence, but all but essential staff are dismissed when he is present. Putin’s net worth is estimated between $100 billion and $160 billion, which could make him the third richest man in the world, after Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.
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Sources: WIO News, BBC Russia, Art Net, The Richest, TIME
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