Vladimir Putin Palace

"Putin's Palace" (Russian: "Дворец Путина", romanized: "Dvorets Putina") is an Italianate palace complex located on the Black Sea coast near Gelendzhik, Krasnodar Krai, Russia.

The complex first came to public attention in 2010 after whistleblower Sergei Kolesnikov published an open letter to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev exposing the construction of the palace. Kolesnikov also stated that the undertaking was run by Nikolai Shamalov who was acting on behalf of Vladimir Putin. Alexander Ponomarenko was later reported to have ownership.

The complex drew more substantial public attention in 2021, when Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's Anti Corruption Foundation (FBK) released an investigative documentary film about it which detailed a corruption scheme allegedly headed by Putin and claimed that the palace was built for the president's personal use. The FBK investigation estimated the cost of the build to be over 100 billion rubles (US$956 million) at 2022 prices. Putin denied that the palace belonged to him, with the Kremlin saying that it is a private venture owned by various businessmen whose names cannot be revealed by the state. Following the release of the film, Arkady Rotenberg, who has close ties to Putin, claimed ownership of the palace.

Location and buildings

The residence is located at 44.419°N 38.205°E on Cape Idokopas, near the village of Praskoveyevka. Cape Idokopas (Russian: Мыс Идокопас) is a promontory on the Black Sea coast of Russia near Gelendzhik, Krasnodar Krai. The headland is lined with cliffs but is mostly flat on its summit, which is heavily forested with Turkish pine trees. It is bordered by a reef that makes offshore navigation hazardous. The residence overlooks Russia's Black Sea coast, and is built on a block of land with a total area of 74 hectares (180 acres). The airspace around the palace (see image) is regulated as Prohibited Special Use Airspace P116 (i.e. a no-fly zone), for which the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) stated was to protect an FSB border-post in the area from increased foreign intelligence activity.

The buildings on the palace complex include a house with an area of 17,700 square metres (191,000 sq ft), an arboretum, a greenhouse, a helipad, an ice palace, a church, an amphitheater, a "tea house" (guest house), a gas station, an 80-metre (260 ft) bridge and a special tunnel inside the mountain with a tasting room.

Inside the main building are a swimming pool, aquadiskotheque arrangement, spa, saunas, Turkish baths, meat and fish, vegetable and dessert shops, a warehouse, a reading room, a music lounge, a hookah bar, a theater and a cinema, a wine cellar, a casino, and about a dozen guest bedrooms. The master bedroom is 260 square metres (2,800 sq ft) in size.[10]

The house is designed by the Italian architect Lanfranco Cirillo, who has designed properties for many of Russia's elite.

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