A LUXURY mansion linked to Vladimir Putin has been removed from Russian maps as the FSB suggested the West is spying on his controversial 'palace’ on the Black Sea coast.
An £87 million hunting and fishing retreat beside the Yenisei River in Siberia was previously visible on online Yandex Maps.
But it has recently vanished from maps on this Russian search engine in an alleged bid to ‘hide’ its existence, say reports today.
The heavily-guarded timber Siberian bolt hole in the Krasnoyarsk region remains visible on Google Maps.
The revelation comes as the FSB counterintelligence service has claimed that NATO has been spying on the area around the £1 billion Gelendzhik Palace close to the Black Sea.
Putin’s jailed foe Alexei Navalny in revealing the palace’s jaw-dropping luxury also claimed it had its own Russian border post, and was covered by a strict no-fly zone.
Putin has denied the palace is in his name yet, despite this, the FSB has now appeared to acknowledge it is the subject of snooping by NATO spooks in the sky.
The no-fly zone was established due to "the increased intelligence activity of a number of neighbouring states, including those belonging to the NATO bloc”, it explains in a statement to RBC media.
It had been put in place last summer in the interests of border security, according to the FSB.
The Western interest was focused on the FSB border post at Gelendzhik, it was stated, not giving further details.
The separate forest getaway in Siberia – four time zones east of Moscow and with a 680 acre estate – is reported to be used by Putin, 68, and his close associate and former KGB colleague Igor Sechin, 60, who now heads Rosneft oil giant which built the complex, but was earlier a top official in the Kremlin.
The mansion is reported to be 32,300 square feet with a helipad and chapel, along with its own herd of Maral deer.
“Security guards on motor boats kick out unwelcome fishermen from 'territorial waters' referring to 'big people' fishing in the private area,” said a report by TSUR media revealing the mansion’s existence.
The Yenisei is the fifth longest river in the world.
“Rosneft's chief loves hunting, the head of state Vladimir Putin prefers fishing,” said the original report on the complex.
“Everything is ready for that on the Yenisei's shore.”
The estate – officially a sports and recreation facility – is protected by four security checkpoints each with 11 guards.
“It is not clear why a sports and recreation complex would need such measures,” said TSUR.
But it was clear Putin would “not need to worry about security” visiting the far-flung dacha (country house).
The Federal Security Service has denied claims that it guarded the Gelendzhik palace.
The allegations were made in a film – Putin's Palace – made by Navalny and released by his team following his arrest last Sunday.
Navalny was detained as he returned to Russia from Germany, where he spent five months recovering after being poisoned with nerve agent Novichok in an assassination attempt he says was ordered by the Kremlin.
Thousands have taken to the streets in cities across Russia calling for Navalny's release, while tens of millions of people have watched the film online.
Putin was on Monday asked about the film by 20-year-old student Danil Chemezov during a teleconference event to mark the country's annual students' day.
Putin said of Navalny’s allegations about the Black Sea palace with a hookah boudoir equipped for pole-dancing: ”Nothing that is listed there as my property belongs to me or my close relatives, and never did.”
He admitted he had not watched the Navalny film due to a “shortage of time”, but said he had “flicked through video selections that my aides brought me”.
Navalny was "brainwashing" Russians, he claimed.
The jailed opposition leader claimed the palace had been funded without their knowledge by Russian taxpayers.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted the Kremlin knows the owners of the palace are but does not have the right to reveal their names.
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