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Putin's former judo partner claims he owns palace linked to Russian leader


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Putin's former judo partner claims he owns palace linked to Russian leader

By Gleb Stolyarov

 

2021-01-30T144048Z_1_LYNXMPEH0T0BU_RTROPTP_4_CRIMEA-ANNIVERSARY-PUTIN.JPG

Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg reacts before a ceremony to award constructors of the Crimean Bridge over the Kerch Strait in Sevastopol, Crimea March 18, 2020. Alexander Nemenov/Pool via REUTERS/Files

 

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg said on Saturday he owns a huge palace in southern Russia which jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny has linked to President Vladimir Putin.

 

Navalny and his anti-corruption foundation have published a video in which they allege the opulent mansion belonged to the Russian leader. The video has been viewed more than 103 million times.

 

Rotenberg, Putin's former judo sparring partner who sold his stake in gas pipeline construction firm Stroygazmontazh in 2019 for a sum which the RBC business daily put at 75 billion roubles ($990 million), said he bought the palace two years ago.

 

"Now it will no longer be a secret, I am the beneficiary," Rotenberg said in a video published by the Mash Telegram channel.

"There was a rather complicated facility, there were a lot of creditors, and I managed to become the beneficiary."

 

He gave no further financial details of the purchase or how it had been funded. Putin has denied ownership of the palace.

 

Navalny was remanded in custody for 30 days on Jan. 18 for alleged parole violations which he says were trumped up. He was arrested after flying back to Moscow from Germany where he had been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning last August.

 

Following his arrest thousands of people joined unsanctioned protests across Russia last Saturday to demand his release.

Further protest rallies are planned across Russia on Sunday. The authorities have said the gatherings are illegal and have vowed to break them up.

 

On Saturday, Mediazona editor-in-chief Sergey Smirnov was released from police custody after being detained earlier in the day on suspicion of taking part in a protest in Moscow last weekend, the independent online media outlet said.

 

Smirnov faces a court hearing on Feb. 3, the RIA news agency said. He could face up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to 300,000 roubles or compulsory labour.

 

Rotenberg was among the Russian officials and business executives blacklisted by the United States and other Western powers in the aftermath of Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

 

($1 = 75.7500 roubles)

 

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Additional reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Writing by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by David Holmes and Mike Harrison)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-01-31
 
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5 hours ago, rooster59 said:

"There was a rather complicated facility, there were a lot of creditors, and I managed to become the beneficiary."

said i in my best Boris voice....pmsl

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The BBC reported that this was Putin's Palace way back in 2012:

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17730959

 

In 2012, comrade Arkady Rotenberg, was also named as the construction magnate helping Putin design the palace to his specifications. Why has it taken almost a decade for the Russians to realize this?

 

Nice to see the protests and hearing about thousands in the streets. Are the Russians finally coming around to the idea that having Putin around is not good for them, and a friendly relationship with the west?

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Seems like judo instructor is nice work if you can get it ...

 

Depends on how long it lasts and what you have to do for it though.

 

Sucking up to dictators east or west is not my cup of tea especially since the end is always bloody. (See Washington Jan.6)

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The YT video that has formed the basis of the ongoing demonstrations is extremely detailed and compelling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipAnwilMncI&list=WL&index=4&t=6004s

 

Easy to see why Putin is taking severe measures to try and limit the fall out. Putting his old judo mate as the fall guy has taken quite a bit of time to come out  but still smacks of the outlandish 'Salisbury Cathedral' line of defence. But something was needed to counter a video that has in excess of 105m views. Will it be enough? In the Russia of Putin. might is right.

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Apparently judo instruction is a lucrative profession in  Russia . There must be a shortage of palaces in Russia because i hear there are a lot of judo instructors there.  

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