Vladimir Putin's 'secret £1billion palace' with lap-dancing den, casino and tunnel leading to private beach
Wednesday 20th January 2021
VLADIMIR Putin has built himself a £1billion palace with a private lap-dancing den and casino, his political nemesis claimed last night.
Novichok poisoning survivor Alexei Navalny - hauled into custody on his arrival back in Russia on Sunday - ordered aides to release a bombshell dossier on the vast estate.
And leaked pictures of its opulent interior show a red velvet pole dancing boudoir said to be for exclusive use of the Kremlin strongman and his cronies.
Opposition leader Navalny published details on his website with a scathing attack on 68-year-old Putin, accusing him of using cash swindled from his people to build the retreat.
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.
And he describes the obscene luxury in a video produced by his investigative team recorded before his arrest.
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!
"Leaving the theatre, our (investigator) finds himself in a lobby with a bar. And on the right is the door and the most controversial room in Putin's palace.
"There is not a single window, but for some reason there is a stage, a dressing room, spotlights, and on the plan something very similar to a pole is noted.
"We thought for a long time what it could be. Perhaps a giant shawarma is prepared here. Or firefighters are training."
Navalny was jailed in Moscow on Monday after he returned from Germany on Sunday, where had been recovering for five months from a novichok poison attack.
Russia denies he was poisoned and refuses to open a criminal investigation into his attempted assassination until Germany provides his medical test results.
Describing the palace, Navalny introduction to his team's report says: "This is the most guarded place in Russia, in fact a state within a state, and this is Putin's biggest secret.
"It is protected by hundreds, even thousands of people - from unknown guards, gardeners and builders to the richest and most famous people in Russia.
"One secret. One building. And we will visit it. Visiting Putin. Let us be convinced with our own eyes that this man, in his craving for wealth, is completely mad.
"We will find out by whose money and how this luxury is financed.
"And how right now and for the past 15 years, the biggest bribe in history is being given and the most expensive palace in the world is being built."
Rumours have swirled around claims of Putin's alleged ownership of the palace for years - but Navalny claims to have documented proof of its links to the president.
Navalny says: "Hold on a minute you will tell me...you are telling us some old story.
"But you are wrong, because no-one knows this story.
"The sole true master of this infamous place from day one and until now is Vladimir Putin.
"He got obsessed with wealth and luxury.
"Imagine the kingdom of Monaco? This estate is the size of 39 Monacos, built in a way that no-one can access it from land, from sea or from the air.
"Thousands of people working there are forbidden to bring in even the simplest of mobile phones with a camera.
"All cars go through the most elaborate search at several checkpoints.
"Everyone was saying that it would be impossible to film it."
Navalny claims the white painted Versaille-style palace has a church, hockey arena banker style mostly underground, a tropical garden 2,500 square metres in size with 40 gardeners.
It is said to be the largest private home in Russia - measuring an incredible 17,691 square metres.
It includes an 80 metre long bridge leading to a tea house. The tea house is 2,500 metres in size.
It also boasts a theatre and a tunnel leading to its private beach, landing pads for three helicopters and a sumptuous fitness spa.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last night: "This record is very hackneyed. Many years ago we already explained that Putin has no palaces."
A video also highlighted gaudy state rooms and a casino, all funded by corruption, said political rival Alexei Navalny.