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The Inside Story of How Alexey Navalny Uncovered Putin's $1.3 Billion Palace

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Two days after Alexey Navalny, head of Russia’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) was arrested on his return to Moscow from Berlin, he released a video expose that shocked Russians and people around the world. In the video, “Putin’s palace. History of the world’s largest bribe,” Navalny alleged that an opulent property near Gelendzhik, a town in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar, was constructed for Russian President Vladimir Putin with illicit funds of $1.35 billion, provided by members of his inner circle, and that Putin is the real owner of the palace.

The palace’s features apparently include a port, a vineyard, a church, a casino, an underground hockey rink, and toilet brushes costing $850 a piece. “It is a separate state within Russia… And in this state there is a single, irreplaceable tsar. Putin,” Navalny said in the video. Allegedly covering an area of 17, 691 square meters, it is the largest private residential building in Russia. Putin denied the claims. “Nothing listed there has ever belonged to me or my close relatives,” he said Tuesday.

Read more on Time:

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