Navalani, from prison, issues describing an autocratic Putin ‘palace’


MOSCOW – Russian Opposition Leader Alexei A. A party led by Navalny led President Vladimir V. on the Black Sea on Tuesday. Published a detailed investigation describing a secret palace built for Putin, with Mr. Navalny less than 24 hours after the report was released. Jail was ordered.

The report was the latest swipe in Mr Navalny’s dramatic battle with Mr Putin, which is going on in front of an online audience of millions, and as supporters of the opposition leader intensify street protests planned for this weekend had come.

The investigation – complete with floor plans, financial statements and interior photos of a campus, Mr. Navalny says the cost is more than $ 1 billion – appeared to offer the most comprehensive accounting of a sprawling residence the president has said That the crescent seashore built for itself over southern Russia.

The Kremlin denied the findings in the report, which went online as a 113-minute YouTube video on Tuesday and a longer, illustrated text version that invited users to post pictures of Mr. Putin’s alleged luxury pictures on Facebook and Instagram did. The video has been viewed more than four million times on YouTube.

Mr. Navalny said in the video, referring to Mr. Putin and his circle, “They will keep stealing more until they bankrupt the whole country.” “Russia sells huge amounts of oil, gas, metals, fertilizer and wood – but people’s incomes keep falling and falling, as Putin’s Palace is.”

Mr Navalny – who flew home from Siberia in August in Germany on Sunday after being treated for a toxic poisoning – was arrested under passport control in full view of the Russians watching his arrival live. On Monday, Mr. Navalny was ordered to be jailed for 30 days during a temporary court proceeding at a Moscow-area police station, with a portrait of the Stalin-era secret police chief on the wall behind him.

Before departing, Mr Navalani called for “taking to the streets” against Mr Putin in Russia, in videos posted by his staff online. And on Tuesday, his staff investigated the palace, which was recorded by Mr. Navalny while he was in Germany. The text in the opening frame of the video prompts viewers to “join the performance on the central streets of your cities at 2pm on Saturday.”

“Navalny has been fighting for our rights for many years,” the text says. “Now it’s our turn to fight for him.”

Reports of the construction of a palace for Mr. Putin near the Black Sea resort town of Gelendzhik first surfaced more than a decade ago. Satellite images show a grand, rectangular building, a grand street, a helipad and other structures connected by a curved road on a remote section of mountainous beach.

The project was kept secret for a long time, and on Tuesday Mr. Putin’s spokesman reiterated his denial that Mr. Putin had a palace. His official Black Sea residence is a more modest campus in the city of Sochi, 150 miles away.

“We had already explained years ago that Putin has no palace in Jalendzik,” spokesman, Dimitri S. Peskov, stated by Russian media.

Mr Navalny presented financial records and other evidence, stating that the palace was built by Putin for his allies and called it “the biggest bribe in history”.

Some details previously appeared in Russian news reports, but Mr. Navalny presented them in his trademark, populist style. His previous investigative reports of the wealth of the Russian elite led him to prominence as an anti-corruption activist and opposition leader.

His team found that about 30 square miles of land around the palace were controlled by Russia’s domestic intelligence agency, the airspace above it was restricted and coast guard teams would not allow boats within a mile .

There were also new illustrations in the report about Mr. Putin’s luxurious lifestyle.

A contractor, Mr. Navalny said, had leaked elaborate floor plans, and his team used them to create interactive, three-dimensional models of the interior. The ground floor has a spa, a movie theater, a wine cellar and an outdoor area with fountains described as “aquaos”. Reportedly, the next floor has a large theater, a casino hall and a windowless hookah lounge with a pole-dancing stage.

The report describes an underground hockey rink, a church, a tunnel by the sea, and a 260-foot-long bridge leading to a tea stall.

“We are publishing his palace blueprint,” Maria Pevich, who heads Mr. Navalny’s investigative unit, wrote On Twitter referring to Mr. Putin. “I wish, Grandpa crazy about his safety will no longer be able to use it.”

In remarks made to reporters prior to the release of the report, Kremlin spokesman Mr. Peskov set aside Western calls to free Mr. Navalny.

“We listen to these calls, but in this case we cannot and will not take these statements into consideration” Mr. Peskov said. “This is an absolutely domestic issue, and we will not allow anyone to interfere.”

Mr. Navalny spent Monday in a high-security section of Matroskaya Tshina, a notorious Moscow prison. In a message to his supporters that he had gone through his lawyers and posted on Instagram, Mr Navalny said he had no regrets returning to Russia despite being arrested.

Out of the special prison where he was being held, Mr. Navalani wrote: “I read about it in books, and now here I am myself. This is Russian life for you. “

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