A viral photo of a futuristic-style house labeled “Putin’s house” in Sochi, Russia, has circulated on social media, leading many to falsely believe that it belongs to the Russian president.
In reality, the house was just a design concept of what Vladimir Putin’s house would look like through the eyes of Russian architect Roman Vlasov.
According to an Instagram post by Vlasov in January, the house is tagged “PUTIN HOUSE: or a story about what your villa could look like.”
The rendering is simply a three-dimensional concept design that does not actually exist in any physical location. Along with the post, Vlasov used the hashtags #concept and #design to clarify that it was simply a representation and not an actual representation.
But the futuristic design, which contains overhanging structures and a flat top set in a secluded forest, has recently been circulated again on social media, leading viewers to believe that it is actually Putin’s home.
Some people compared the house online to a villain cape from a James Bond movie, while others labeled the structure “evil.” A social media post claiming the house is Putin’s and shared on April 3 received more than 9,000 likes and 1,600 retweets.
The viral photo comes just months after Putin was attacked on allegations that he built an elaborate “secret” $ 1 billion mansion near Russia’s Black Sea.
In January, Russian critic and opposition leader Alexei Navalny released a film through his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), accusing Putin of constructing the ornate property with evidence from drone footage, interviews with contractors, and access documents and plans. public.
The film alleged that the property cost $ 1.35 billion and claimed it was paid for through a corruption scheme in which Putin awarded top jobs and lucrative government projects to his allies.
The 68-hectare (168-acre) estate is said to be 39 times the size of Monaco, outfitted with a 190,500-square-foot mansion with a theater, casino, two helipads, an arboretum, and an underground ice hockey rink. The film was viewed more than 87 million times online, prompting viewers to express amazement and outrage and poke fun at the massive seaside palace.
Putin has since denied the allegations, saying in January: “Nothing that is stated in the film as my property belongs to me or my close relatives, and it never did. Never.”
Navalny, 44, has been in prison since February, when he was jailed for two and a half years for violating the terms of his probation for a previous conviction.
The Russian critic rose to international fame in August after suffering a near fatal poisoning on a flight from Siberia. He was taken to recover in Germany and has since alleged that Putin ordered his poisoning.
Putin, 68, has been in power in Russia for more than two decades. On Monday, he signed a controversial law that could allow him to remain president until 2036.