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Putin denies owning a palace

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday denied being the owner of a sumptuous residence, as accused imprisoned opponent Alexei Navalny, whose supporters called for new protests across the country next Sunday.

Vladimir Putin denied, Monday, January 25, owning a palace on the shores of the Black Sea, as accused Alexeï Navalny and his team in a video seen more than 86 million times on YouTube.

“I have not seen this film for lack of time. Nothing that is shown in it, as being my property belongs to me or to my relatives”, affirmed the Russian head of state during a televised meeting with Russian students about this film.

This statement by the Russian president comes two days after nationwide demonstrations of an unprecedented scale organized to demand the release of Alexey Navalny.

These demonstrations brought together more than 20,000 people in Moscow, a record in several years for unauthorized action, but also provoked a massive mobilization in more than 100 Russian provincial towns, usually less quick to mobilize.

The mobilization was amplified by the dissemination of the investigation by Alexeï Navalny accusing the Russian president of having had a palace built for himself which cost more than $ 1 billion on the shores of the Black Sea.

A new gathering on January 31

Back in Russia on January 17 – after almost five months of convalescence in Germany where he had been transferred after poisoning last August – Alexeï Navalny was immediately arrested for violation of his parole.

One of his relatives, Leonid Volkov, called for new gatherings on January 31. “For the freedom of all. For justice,” he wrote on Twitter. He specified that this date had been chosen, because it is the closest to February 2, the day of the appearance of Alexey Navalny before a Moscow court. He must decide whether the three-and-a-half-year suspended prison sentence received in 2014 will be transformed into a prison sentence for violation of his judicial review.

If the demonstrators are numerous, “our demands will sound more powerful,” Leonid Volkov said.

With AFP and Reuters

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