EDITORIAL: Home Sweet Gold-Plated Home for Vladimir Putin


Home Sweet Gold-Plated Home for Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin's new front door, complete with Russian Eagle

Last week Vladimir Putin announced he intended to spend more than $20 billion over the the next five years on housing for Russia’s impoverished, homeless masses.  We wonder if he includes himself in that group, and if so how much of that $20 billion will go into Putin’s personal pocket.

He needs the money, of course, if he’s going to go on building personal palaces plated with gold at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, and maintain them for decades.

Cynics on Russia though we may be, we were absolutely appalled by juxtaposition of these two recent revelations about Russia.  That Russia’s dictator — no different in any way from international pariahs like Hosni Mubarek of Egypt or Saddam Hussein of Iraq — can dare to mumble lies about helping the poor while he goes merrily on lining his own pockets and building truly breathtaking palaces for his personal use is a testament to the fetid corruption that now totally engulfs neo-Soviet Russia.  Not even the Soviet Politburo was this brazen and bold in displaying its corruption!

The Moscow Times reports:

New documents confirm that the Kremlin property chief approved construction of a posh seaside palace rumored to be a residence for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, despite his explicit denial of any link to the project, a newspaper said.

Vladimir Kozhin, chief of the Office for Presidential Affairs, said last week that his agency is not involved with the construction of a mansion in the Krasnodar region that whistleblowers linked to Putin.

But Kozhin had his deputy authorize the construction, and even personally signed relevant papers, copies of which were made public by Novaya Gazeta on Friday.

The first reports about “Putin’s Palace,” allegedly worth $1 billion, appeared in December, when St. Petersburg-based businessman Sergei Kolesnikov complained about the project in an open letter to President Dmitry Medvedev.

An investment contract released by the newspaper lists the Office for Presidential Affairs and a company called Lirus as parties involved in the construction of a resort complex occupying some 740,000 square meters in the Krasnodar region city of Gelendzhik.

Lirus was to invest 400 million rubles ($13 million) in the project, scheduled for completion in 2008, and was to own 70 percent of the developed area, with the rest going to the Office for Presidential Affairs.

The document is dated 2005 — when Putin was the president — and was signed by Kozhin’s deputy, Sergei Kovalyov. A supplement to the contract, also available on the newspaper’s web site, lists the Federal Guard Service as developer and is signed by Kozhin.

Kolesnikov told Novaya Gazeta that Lirus, a subsidiary of Rosinvest, was established in 2005 “on the order of Putin” by Nikolai Shamalov, a long-time friend of the prime minister.

Another company mentioned in the leaked documents, Indokopas, belongs to a firm called Rirus and is co-owned by Shamalov, according to Spark Interfax business database. Rirus and Lirus have the same St. Petersburg address in the database.

Not only is Putin’s palace a flagrant example of shameless personal corruption and dishonesty in the face of an impoverished population (Russian men on average don’t live to see age 60 and work for less than $3 per hour), it’s also a looming ecological disaster.  Activist groups are appalled by the reckless manner in which the palace has been constructed, and believe that by the time it is finished it’s entire neighborhood will have been hopelessly damaged.

In any normal country, revelations of this kind would result in an immediate investigation by parliament. In any normal country, the president would have sacked the prime minister long ago, and he would be facing criminal charges, as Putin’s close friend is now doing in Italy.

But Vladimir Putin is above the law, and the citizens of Russia are craven cowards who will not stand up to defend their national honor or their children’s future.


3 responses to “EDITORIAL: Home Sweet Gold-Plated Home for Vladimir Putin

  1. The magazine Kommersant Dengi reported yesterday that given the Russian regime’s opacity, it was impossible to tell how many residences the President and Prime Minister had access to, but noted that some estimates gave Mr Putin 26 separate places to live in. The magazine itself counted 24 residences that could be used by the pair, including six that are only rumoured to be for presidential use. The list contains castles, dachas, palaces, a ski resort and even a chateau outside Paris.

  2. Delusional moskali continue their veiled threats.

    Russia: Europe should not impose its standards on other nations

    “If you let everything drift away, there will be problems. Our energy companies, and not just Gazprom but others too, will have problems. There will be problems on the EU side as well,” the ambassador said.

    “The problem is that the European Union, apart from its conviction that everything it produces in this world represents the best global standard, also shows a persistent trend to apply this standard to the rest of the world,” the Russian ambassador said.

    Read more:


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