In a video, the Navalny team presented a “Putin’s Palace” with luxurious rooms, reconstructed using digital images. By visiting the site – which is said to be a hotel project under construction – an online media broke the enchantment.
“A palace for Putin”: this is how the Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny presented an opulent residence on the shores of the Black Sea, in a video he had made before his return to Russia and his very arrest. publicized on January 17.
In the document in question, Alexei Navalny and his team claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was the beneficiary of a huge palace near the Russian city of Gelendzhik. Reconstructions of different rooms in the house, in digital images, testify to a flashy luxury: all-out gilding, four-poster bed, tinsel chandeliers and moldings evoked a veritable royal residence. More modern elements were added to this fairy-tale aesthetic, such as a large hookah bar, with walls surrounded by pilasters and dominated by a stained glass window.
However, reality turns out to be much less dreamlike than these artistic representations. The palace, to begin with, would not be one: the site, under construction, is that of a future hotel complex according to businessman Arkadi Rotenberg, who declared on January 30 to be the owner. “Now it’s no longer a secret. I am beneficiary [de ce site]”, Entrusted the Russian billionaire in an interview with the platform Telegram Mash, affirming also to take care of the place for several years. “We want to build a hotel residence there. It is for this reason that there are many parts ”, reports the Russian construction magnate, which is the subject of sanctions of the European Union because of its activities of infrastructures in Crimea.
Mash had, in fact, tarnished the idyllic image of “Putin’s Palace” by broadcasting, on January 29, a video shot there. His comparison with the sets simulated by the Navalny team is cruel: at the supposed location of the hookah bar, Mash discovered a room under construction where helmets and work clothes are stored; where the theater is supposed to be, a concrete room under construction; for any “aqua-discotheque”, a simple fountain … In other words: the flamboyant palace described in Navalny’s video only seems to be a vast building site.
Maria Pevtchikh, who heads Alexei’s team in charge of “anti-corruption” investigations, replied to Mash’s report by arguing that the opponent, in his own video, said that the site had to be re-started because of construction defects, in particular moisture and mold. Which does not explain, therefore, the invention of decorations dripping luxury …