Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Did Putin Get a Palace?

Did Russian's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin get a pricey new palace that over looks the Black Sea?

It seems nobody knows for sure–or at least no government official will confirm–but a Russian biznessman named Sergei Kolesnikov who has professional ties to Mister Putin claims that a palatial residence under construction in the Black Sea resort town of Praskoveevka is being built with "dubious funds" for the personal use of Russia's frequently shirtless and all but hairless prime minister Vladimir Putin.

Mister Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, publicly declared that the prime minister has no connections to the obscenely large residence on the Black Sea but Mister Kolesnikov claims that Mister Putin regularly visited the site to supervise the construction and furnishing of the massive mansion.

After Mister Kolesnikov's claims were made public a 2009 article materialized out of the interweb in which a journalist for Novaya Gazeta reported that he swam up to the beach behind the property and spoke to a construction worker who snitched that Prime Minister Putin visited the site regularly. It wasn't long before an anonymous man who declared he worked on the construction of the building publicly alleged that many illegal Chinese workers were employed at the site. Oh dear.

After Mister Kolesnikov let the cat out of the bag about Mister Putin's (alleged) new palace in Praskoveevka, a couple of photos taken by tourists surfaced that show the sprawling roof of the civic center-sized structure and the beach side entrance to a tunnel that (allegedly) leads up to the palace on the bluff above.

Finally, about a week ago a clandestine cache of photographs was leaked by an anonymous individual and posted on Ruleaks, a website that publishes Russian translations of documents posted on Wikileaks. The photos show a bulky and colossal Neoclassical structure built around a symmetrically designed interior courtyard ringed by arched colonnades.

Photos of the interior spaces show heavy and intricate architectural details that include lots of pilasters, hand-painted murals on the walls and ceilings, car-sized chandeliers, shiny marble floors with inlaid patterns, unrestrained gilding, heavy drapery, paneled and gilded walls, antique commodes, dining room sets and and desks that tend towards the Baroque. Prairie-sized terraces and formal gardens filled with topiary, surround the palace that reportedly includes a private casino, fitness spa, tea house, amphitheater and a pad for not just one but three helicopters.

While there's a very real possibility this mansion does not belong to or in any way have anything to do with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, what is clear is that there is still some serious money in the hands of oligarchs willing to spend a truly shocking and–let's be honest chickens–scandalous billion bucks or more on a seaside vacation house.

photos: Ruleaks

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's nothing compared to Catherine the Great's Tsarskoye Selo. You don't expect the ruler of all the Russias to live in a shack, do you? Geez. Some perspective, please. Does Candy Spelling live in a shack? And she doesn't run much of anything, much less Russia.

Anonymous said...

Time for the Proletariat to start organizing another revolution.

Anonymous said...

Blah, this place will look like a shack once our oligarchs privatize social security, public education, the post office, etc. and drill baby, drill on public lands. The Russians have got nuthin' on our Robber Barons.

Lady J

angie said...

I was thinking the same thing anon 3:39. Looks like the Russian Revolution has come full circle.

Jeannified said...

I visited Catherine the Greats palace, as well as Petehof. This place definitely reminded me of both places.

I'm surprised that someones head didn't roll after letting that cat out of the bag!

Anonymous said...

anon 3.27
Candy Spelling is in charge of 3 (I think it is) gift wrapping rooms, not to mention the dolls' rooms.
That obviously keeps her very, very busy.
The Aussie

Anonymous said...

The coordinates of the house are about 44.43276N, 38.2080E.

Carla Ridge said...

This should sure take some of the residents of Beverly Park down a peg. THIS is what a palace looks like, BEE-hawtchas!

MarkyMark said...

Somewhere Suzanne Saperstein is grumbling "that should be mine, all mine!!"

Anonymous said...

you tell 'em, Carla Ridge.

Anonymous said...

This loks like a bleak rip off of Livadia Palace, i.e. the real tsar residence in Crimea.

Anonymous said...

Typical vile Russian ostentation. At least it's within the borders of Russia so the rest of the world don't need to look at it.

Anonymous said...

According to the CIA the distribution of income in Russia is only a bit more unequal than that in China. While the distribution in the US is quite a bit more unequal than either. We have an inequality factor (Gini Index) rather like that of Uruguay. Ours is closer to many third world places.

Anonymous said...

... jump to the pictures on the Russian site.

Love the shot of the blacked-out guy in one of the pictures sitting down showing off the hole in the crotch of his track pants! :)

Jennifer said...

anon 3.27 Candy Spelling is in charge of 3 (I think it is) gift wrapping rooms, not to mention the dolls' rooms. That obviously keeps her very, very busy. The Aussie