The “Palace for Putin” video took less than two weeks to reach over 100 million views. All this time, representatives of the authorities, including Vladimir Putin himself, and sources close to him tried to convince the Russians that the video about the secret residence of the President of Russia in Gelendzhik is of no interest. However, not everyone trusts the authorities. In this article, we have decided to answer the question: Is Putin’s palace real?
What is Navalny’s investigation about?
The two-hour film tells the story of a lavish palace on the Black Sea coast. According to Navalny, President Vladimir Putin owns it while those around him fund it. Moreover, Navalny calls the palace the largest private residential building in Russia. According to the Anti-Corruption Foundation, this palace “is protected by hundreds, even thousands of people – from unknown guards, gardeners, and builders to the richest and most famous people in Russia.” Those working there cannot bring mobile phones with cameras with them, and arriving cars get inspections at several checkpoints. According to Navalny’s investigation, with the help of mirrors and pits with the video, they check trunks and glove compartments.
Besides, seven thousand hectares of land around the palace is under the authority of the FSB. In addition to the palace itself, in the closed area, there is a covered ice palace, a church, a 2.5 thousand square meter greenhouse, an 80-meter bridge, and an amphitheater. Since the palace is on a steep bank, a special tunnel was dug for access to the sea. Moreover, at the end of it, there is a tasting room overlooking the sea, according to the investigation.
Additionally, the FSB prohibits fishing near the promontory on which the palace stands, and aircraft cannot fly over the territory. However, the representatives of the FSB said that the no-fly zone in the area of Cape Idokopas was established by order of the Ministry of Transport on July 24 last year in the interests of border security. So is Putin’s palace real? Well, there is a huge chance for it. Online sportsbooks in Russia offer their bets on it. Check them out and make real money for your palace!
Why Russian people wonder: Is Putin’s palace real?
The investigation shows a plan of the palace and photographs of the decoration, using 3D modeling to show the rooms. According to Navalny, some workers who carried out repairs there took the photographs of the palace. The palace has several saunas and hammams, a swimming pool, a hairdresser, a casino, meat and fish storage, vegetable storage, a bakery, a mudroom, and an aqua-disco. Besides, the palace has a winter garden, reading room, and music lounge. According to the above plans, the area of the bedroom alone in the palace is 260 square meters.
Among the pieces of furniture stand out a vase for 2.6 million rubles, a chandelier for 2.7 million rubles, a sofa for 3 million, and a coffee table for 4.3 million rubles. Besides, the investigation tells about several wineries located next to the palace and the construction of a new winery. According to the FBK investigation, it belongs to the Axis Investments firm of Nikolai Yegorov, a classmate of Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, the key owner of the palace is the Accept company, which Putin’s cousin Mikhail Shelomov owns.
Moreover, the authors of the investigation cite a financing scheme for the palace. It mentions Putin’s old associates: the head of Transneft Nikolai Tokarev, the head of Rosneft Igor Sechin, entrepreneurs Yuri Kovalchuk and Gennady Timchenko. Besides, the scheme also includes Svetlana Krivonogikh, whom the Proekt newspaper called a close acquaintance of Putin. Navalny also tells about the gymnast Alina Kabaeva, with whom the media also wrote about Putin’s connections. Now, the 1xBet Sportsbook offers some bets on When is Putin Leaving the Office.
Why Navalny’s investigation is so popular
The popularity of the film grows least because of the very figure of the president, whose alleged residence was at the center of the investigation. It is obvious that the film is popular not only among politicized audience. However, also by ordinary people because both the video and the material of the investigation consist of a compilation of several investigations. Besides, everyone in this investigation finds something interesting. Navalny not only talks about “Is Putin’s palace real?” but also about his family, his friends from the KGB in Dresden. Some people find financial transactions from commercial companies interesting. Meanwhile, others admire the interiors and laugh at the memes. That is the film affects a very wide audience.
Nowadays, Navalny is not just a politician, he is a media in himself. Moreover, his media is quite effective and it seems that they work as a communication channel. As a result, such investigations have resonated. If we talk about the accumulation of protest potential, which was still felt in society, then the film is probably such an assembling point. Therefore, not only Navalny’s followers but tired people spoke out against the government and corruption. And this, of course, is one of the significant effects of this investigation. Online sportsbooks in Russia offer plenty of bets on different political events.
What does this mean for the opposition?
Political analyst Gleb Pavlovsky does not see a direct connection between the number of views of the film “Palace for Putin” and the number of rallies in support of Navalny. Meanwhile, the Western press writes about demonstrations in Russia “This is just the beginning.” The authorities say that the only thing that the movie gives is the growth of Navalny’s recognition. However, recognition does not mean willingness to act with him, does not even mean agreement with his position. The audience of the film is not an electorate, it is especially important to understand this in our time of social networks. It does not occur to everyone that they should go out to protest)into the slush under the police batons.
Maybe the fact that more came out is mainly due to the factor of Navalny himself who was arrested than to the film. The return of Navalny is indeed such a strong signal. Indeed, people appreciate politicians who take risks for their sake. Moreover, today this is a mandatory property of a politician: if a politician does not take risks, then he does not attract attention.
The Kremlin’s response: Is Putin’s palace real?
The Kremlin called the film “unfounded statements, nonsense, and compilation”. Vladimir Putin himself said that none of the objects that appear in the investigation belong or belonged to him or his family. However, the Russian President said that he knows some people who are mentioned in the material: “People who are mentioned there. I know someone, someone is my friend, a former colleague. Some distant relatives, some acquaintances. There are people. that I don’t know at all why they are mentioned there.” Moreover, he added that he did not watch the entire film. However, he “looked through the videos” that assistants brought him. Meanwhile, the 1xBet Sportsbook offers to Bet on Alexey Navalny in 2021. What is waiting for Russia in the future? We will find out soon!