An investigation by Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has revealed new particulars about one other of Vladimir Putin’s alleged lavish residences, full with stables, a golf course and an expansive spa complicated that features a cryo chamber.
Utilizing satellite tv for pc and drone footage, firm information, images and different knowledge, investigators have launched floor plans and some of the first photographs of an expanded residence close to Valdai, which they stated was Putin’s favorite and most secret.
They claimed the residence was partially leased from one in every of Putin’s closest allies on taxpayer cash. Whereas a number of the lakeside property is state-owned and designated for official use, a extra lavish part with a mansion has been privately developed into what’s described as a playground for the health-conscious head of state.
Specifically, the investigation focuses on a 7,000 sq metre (75,000 sq ft) spa complicated whose flooring plans present a float pool, therapeutic massage rooms, a swimming pool, and different facilities, akin to an extreme-cold remedy cryotherapy chamber, which can be rented from an organization alleged to belong to one in every of Putin’s shut buddies.
Firm statements confirmed that the proprietor of the complicated has made greater than 2.7bn roubles (£25.8m) prior to now decade.
The investigation was launched as Navalny stays on starvation strike in a Russian jail and his supporters are being pressurised by the federal government to not proceed protests in opposition to his two-and-a-half yr sentence on embezzlement prices.
The emails of greater than 500,000 Navalny supporters, lots of whom had signed up on-line to attend new protests in opposition to the Kremlin, was leaked to journalists this week by an nameless group that referred to as the Navalny team “losers” and claimed the database was closely populated with bots.
Navalny’s team confirmed that the leaked database was actual, however didn’t say if any of the emails had been run by automated accounts. It apologised to these on the record, saying the leak contained solely emails and no different private data. The leak got here as Navalny’s team is closing in on amassing 500,000 on-line signatures as a way to launch new protests calling for the opposition chief’s freedom.
“[The database] is actual versus the fakes that had been launched earlier,” wrote Ivan Zhdanov, the director of the group. “It’s occurring now, when the marketing campaign wants simply 70,000 extra signatures and each affirmation to attend the protests is far more durable for us to gather.”
Navalny in a message posted on-line on Friday stated that he was being threatened with being force-fed in a straitjacket except he ended a starvation strike in protest in opposition to his remedy in a Russian jail. He has demanded to be seen by his physician for reported numbness in his again and legs, which he says could also be tied to the poisoning try on his life that happened final yr.
His spouse earlier this week stated he seemed gaunt throughout his assembly together with her and he had misplaced an estimated 16kg since arriving at a jail colony about 60 miles east of Moscow final month.
“He’s nonetheless as cheerful and upbeat as ever,” Yulia Navalnaya wrote in a web-based put up on Wednesday. “He speaks with issue, although, and occasionally he hangs up the telephone and leans on the desk to take a break. He has misplaced quite a lot of weight … and weighs 76kg.”
A few of the anger on the Kremlin has been sparked by a earlier investigation right into a Black Sea dacha that was stated to price practically £1bn and to have been established for the particular use of the president, though current images counsel that it was now not in use. That residence included prospers akin to an “aqua-disco” and a wine cave dug right into a cliff overlooking the Black Sea.
The investigation into that residence, which has been referred to as Putin’s Palace, got here after Navalny’s arrest upon returning to Russia in January and confirmed that the opposition chief remained a hazard to the Kremlin even whereas behind bars.
The authors of the brand new investigation concluded it with a name for his freedom. “Putin illegally imprisoned Navalny for telling the reality about his corruption, lies, and duplicity. We are going to proceed to inform this reality.”