This is a level of wastage that would put the jar to shame.
There are bidets that cost $10,800 (£8,800) each and $4,600 a piece shower head. Then there’s the floor made up of $110,000 worth of Fior di Bosco marble and the indoor pool with a decorative waterfall flowing from the first floor. No expense has been made. And that, according to the leaked email, is simply the “Garden House.”
Six years ago, the Russian television channel Dozhd reported that a building, described humbly as a “fisherman’s hut” by the architect, deep in the forests of the northern Russian region of Karelia, was called “Putin’s dacha” or “Putin’s dacha” by locals. as was widely spoken. holiday home.
While a UK government analysis shows that the Russian president has officially registered only a few properties in his name, including a small flat in St Petersburg, two Soviet-era cars from the 1950s, a trailer and a Includes small garage, plus a presidential salary of around £. 110,000 per year, the channel reported, adding that this was where Vladimir Putin chose to slip away for a break from the stresses of Kremlin life.
There were actually two houses. With a grass covered roof and a helipad. But otherwise the complex appeared relatively modest, with futuristic wood and glass furnished with IKEA-style cream sofas and green bucket chairs. The grass roof of the adjoining building was said to need to be kept out of sight of Western spies in the sky.
Today, however, courtesy of leaks of thousands of emails sent by two construction companies obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Russian-language news site Meduza, a more spectacular picture has emerged of the complex of a fisherman’s hut. Luxury real estate is being developed around.
Floor plans, blueprints and interior design plans show that construction of a neighboring six-bedroom garden house began in 2021 and is filled with semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, a deep blue gemstone known to provide healing properties. It is said to have, and labradorite, a lustrous crystal that some swear by for relieving anxiety and stress.
According to documents contained in the leaked email, a high-end Russian interior design agency, FullhouseDesign, has been a pioneer on the project. The company’s owner told OCCRP that he had no recollection of any involvement, but with the idea that the marble floors were extraordinary.
“If you look at our website there are a number of projects where we use marble flooring as is done by any other respectable architectural agency,” she said. The woman declined to comment on the construction cost.
There is a second new building on the surrounding land, described as a “barn” in the Russian Land Registry in 2018. It is, in fact, according to Leakes, a modern two-story building that appears to be a huge space for entertaining, with an open plan dining area of over 200 square meters.
A glass partition separates the grand dining hall from a professional kitchen that features grills, a tandoor oven, a Japanese-style tapan grill, and a smokehouse.
There is a private brewery with €345,000 (£296,000) worth of Austrian brewing equipment that can produce 47 liters of beer a day and a tea room on the second floor overlooking Lake Ladoga.
Construction also began last year on a separate two-storey building with further kitchen facilities and storage for fish, meat and vegetables. It has four modest bedrooms with folding beds that can be used to accommodate staff. A local source said there is also a cattle farm nearby, land records show, where steers are raised to produce Kobe beef.
The “barn” has the advantage of two small swimming pools, but for those a little more adventurous in their bathing habits, a path leads to a natural spring in Lake Ladoga with a cozy gazebo sheltered from the sun beneath Is .
The waterfall used to be a popular tourist attraction but today it is completely closed to the public. General construction work is estimated at 187m rubles (£2.8m) in one document.
Putin denies that he is the true beneficiary of the complex. Security guards who patrol its perimeter fence have been known to sell trout from the lake to locals when the owners are away, but did not comment when asked who they work for. There is nothing on paper to suggest a direct connection to the President.
But for nearly two decades, Putin has faced accusations of secretly amassing vast wealth and illustrious wealth through proxy, a slew of revelations in Pandora Paper-like leaks about the fortunes of those closest to him. Inspired by the series.
And there are enough clues to be asked about this vast property. “The locals work there as guards only when the site is empty,” said a local fisherman. “When high-level guests arrive, locals are usually replaced by FSOs [federal protection service],
The fisherman’s hut itself is registered in a company called Prime, which is owned by the Support of Entrepreneurship Initiative, a non-profit partnership founded by Yuri Kovalchuk and his son Boris.
Kovalchuk Sr., subject to Western sanctions, is a close ally of Putin and a major shareholder of Bank Rossia, nicknamed “Putin’s bank” because of the Kremlin’s bidding reputation. Bank Rossia is also subject to US, EU and UK sanctions.
The surrounding lands are further owned by companies linked to Kovalchuk and a second person businessman, who have been under US sanctions since 2016.
Representatives of companies owned by Kovalchuk and another person also appear to be using a common email domain name, LLCInvest.ru, hosted by a web provider that has close ties to Bank Rossia. The actual construction of the complex was directed by employees of a non-profit organization, Revival of Maritime Traditions, where at least one linked person also appears to be using the LLCInvest.ru domain name.
The Guardian, OCCRP and Meduza revealed this week that LLCInvest email addresses have been linked to several other luxury properties, yachts and vineyards allegedly held for Putin’s use. None of the owners or founders of affiliated companies and non-profit organizations responded to requests for comment. This is not clear as to the purpose of the general email service or the motivation for explicit collaboration on staffing and logistical issues.
A spokesman for the Kremlin said: “The President of the Russian Federation is in no way associated with or affiliated with the objects and organizations designated by you.”