Poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny alleges in a new viral video that Russian President Vladimir Putin owns an opulent billion dollar palace built with fraudulently obtained funds, according to reports.
The video report detailing the allegations was released by Navalny’s team on Tuesday, two days after the dissident was jailed for 30 days upon his return to Moscow. As of Wednesday, it had already collected more than 35 million views.
Navalny, in the footage, claims Putin’s allies, including oil chiefs and billionaires, have paid for the construction of the $ 1.35 billion Black Sea Palace, the BBC reported.
“[They] built a palace for their boss with that money, ”Navalny said, according to the report. He added that it was built “with the biggest bribe in history”.
The Kremlin retaliated on Wednesday, denying that Putin owns the palace.
“These are all absolutely baseless claims,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, The Moscow Times reported, citing Interfax. “It’s pure nonsense.”
Peskov said the palace “has nothing to do with the president or the Kremlin, so we don’t have the slightest desire to be interested,” according to the report.
The video claims that the palace is equipped with a casino and an underground ice rink.
“It has impregnable fences, its own port, its own security, a church, its own permit system, a no-fly zone and even its own border checkpoint,” Navalny said, according to the BBC.
“It’s a separate state in Russia. And in this state, there is only one irreplaceable tsar: Putin, ”he said.
Navalny was taken into police custody on Sunday night after returning home for the first time since being poisoned last summer.
His detention was ordered by the Moscow Prison Service in connection with alleged violations of a suspended prison sentence in a case of embezzlement which he said was trumped up.
The dissident fell into a coma on a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow on August 20. Two days later he was transferred from one hospital in Siberia to another in Berlin.
Laboratories in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he had been exposed to a Soviet-era nerve agent, Novichok.
With pole wires