- Email leaks have exposed the opulent luxury of a Putin-linked resort.
- An investigation linked the property to numerous others, all linked to the Russian president.
- Blueprints and renderings describe millions of dollars worth of extravagant fittings.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Plans and architects’ renderings from leaked emails have given a glimpse of an opulent Russian property dubbed ‘Putin’s home’.
The details come from an investigation by The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Russian media outlet Meduza. They describe an extravagant and remote resort on Lake Lagoda in northwest Russia.
The Kremlin has denied any connection to the property, which the investigation found sits on 420 hectares of private land and houses three separate buildings.
The most famous of the three is a remarkable, award-winning building called “The Fisherman’s Hut”, media reported.
Locals dubbed it “Putin’s dacha”, using the Russian word for a country cottage or retreat. It seemed to be a common assumption locally that President Vladimir Putin was using it, OCCRP reported.
In 2016, a report by the now-banned Russian outlet TV Rain revealed that Putin’s close ally Yury Kovalchuk bought the land.
The OCCRP/Meduza investigation found it was linked to dozens of other Putin-related properties, which form an apparent network to provide the Russian leader with wealth without him technically owning it.
In response to the investigation, the Kremlin told OCCRP, “The President of the Russian Federation is in no way connected or affiliated with the assets and organizations you mentioned.”
An artificial waterfall and bathrooms with shower handles $4,600 (R73,000)
According to the investigation, the leaked emails reveal characteristics of the properties, including:
- Three pools, including one with its own decorative waterfall
- A 200 square meter open dining room with a restaurant-style kitchen including a tandoor, Japanese-style teppan, and smokehouse
- Private brewery with $363,000 (R5.7 million) Austrian brewing equipment
- A trout farm and a cattle farm raising Kobe beef
- A solid $110,000 (R1.7 million) Fior di Bosco marble floor
- A brass countertop with a solid labradorite top, an iridescent semi-precious stone
- Six bathrooms whose builds were priced at $46,000 (R727,000), with bidet taps costing $10,800 (R170,000) each and shower handles at $4,600 (R73,000)
“You can only build such a project with an unlimited budget,” an unnamed architect told OCCRP.
Common mail server connects ‘Putin’s house’ to others
OCCRP and Meduza have obtained a cache of thousands of emails suggesting a common business link between a wide range of luxury properties and assets in Russia, occupied Crimea and beyond.
This collection of yachts, vineyards, palaces and villas – including the resort on Lake Ladoga – had often been linked to Putin and his entourage in previous reports.
But the investigation found that most of these seemingly disparate business interests used a common mail server – LLCInvest.ru – or used the same proprietary private bank.
Its surrounding 420 hectares of land is owned by LLC Invest, and the company that owns the building itself – called Prime – uses the LLCInvest.ru email domain, according to the survey.