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Poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny alleges in a new, viral video that Russian President Vladimir Putin owns an opulent billion dollar palace that was built with fraudulently obtained funds, according to reports.
The video report detailing the allegations was released by Navalny’s team on Tuesday, two days after the dissident was jailed for 30 days upon his return to Moscow. By Wednesday it had already garnered over 35 million views.
Navalny, in the footage, claims that Putin allies, including oil chiefs and billionaires, paid for the construction of the $1.35 billion Black Sea palace, the BBC reported.
“[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 Kremlin shot back on Wednesday, denying 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.”
Peskov said the palace “has nothing to do with either the president or the Kremlin so we haven’t the slightest desire to be interested,” according to the report.
The video claims the palace is outfitted with a casino and an underground ice rink.
“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, according to BBC.
“It is a separate state within Russia. And in this state there is a single, irreplaceable tsar: Putin,” he says.
Navalny was taken into custody Sunday night after flying home for the first time since he was poisoned last summer.
His detention was ordered by Moscow’s prison service in connection with alleged violations of a suspended prison sentence in an embezzlement case he insists was trumped up.
The dissident fell into a coma while on a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow on Aug. 20. Two days later, he was transferred from a hospital in Siberia to one in Berlin.
Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era nerve agent, Novichok.
With Post wires
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