Putin’s Former Judo Partner Says HE Owns The Russian Leaders Palace.
Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg has declared that he is the owner of a huge palace in southern Russia which jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny has publicly 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 now 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 RBC business daily put at some 75 billion roubles (€815 million euros), said he purchased the palace two years ago.
“Now it will no longer be a secret, I am the beneficiary,” Rotenberg said in a video published by Mash channel in Telegram. “There was a rather complicated facility, there were a lot of creditors, and I managed to become the beneficiary.” Rotenberg gave no further financial details of the purchase or how it had been funded.
Putin has already strenuously denied ownership of the palace. Navalny was remanded in custody for 30 days on Jan. 18 for parole violations he says were trumped up and could face years in jail. He was arrested after flying back to Moscow from Germany, where he had been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning last August he blamed on the KGB.
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