22nd January, 2021
Alexei Navalny, detained critic of Russian leader, Vladimir Putin has released a viral video, alleging that Putin owns an opulent, $1.35 billion-dollar palace that he claimed was built with bribe money.
The video which was uploaded 19 January on YouTube has attracted about 57 million views by early Friday and over one million comments.
With Navalny himself as the narrator, the video details corruption allegations against Putin, starting from his KGB days.
He claims that Putin’s business allies, including oil chiefs and billionaires, paid for the construction of the $1.35 billion Black Sea palace.
“[They] built a palace for their boss with this money,” Navalny says, according to the report. He added it was built “with the largest bribe in history.”
The video claims the palace is outfitted with a casino and an underground ice rink. He says it has a teahouse and a helipad.
“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 says.
“It is a separate state within Russia. And in this state there is a single, irreplaceable tsar: Putin,” he says.
The Kremlin has however denied Putin owns the palace.
“These are all absolutely unfounded claims,” said Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the Moscow Times reported, citing Interfax. “This is pure nonsense.”
Navalny, who returned to Russia from Germany last week after surviving poisoning by state agents was immediately arrested.
A judge has ruled that he should be held for 30 days in connection with an alleged violations of a suspended prison sentence in an embezzlement case.
Navalny said the charge was trumped up.
Watch the almost two-hour video:
*With reports by New York Post and BBC