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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny rose to prominence capturing the hearts and minds of the Russian people at the same time that Vladimir Putin stole their votes.

Instead of self-imposed exile following a failed 2020 assassination attempt using Novichok poison, Navalny chose to bravely return to Russia in 2021, where he was arrested and paid the ultimate price, dying in a remote prison Friday .

Thanks to his fearless reporting and anti-corruption foundation — a non-profit that investigates corruption by high-ranking Russian officials — the world learned about all of the palaces, yachts and private planes that Putin’s oligarchs allegedly built for their tsar and themselves , with all the money they stole from the Russian people.

The oligarchs are really “Kremligarchs” because they are merely wealth handlers — and holders — for the Kremlin, anti-corruption and kleptocracy expert Ilya Zaslavsky told The Post Friday.

Navalny highlighted the corruption and kleptocracy that poisoned Russia and threatens the world.

He remains one of the only Putin foes to die in jail instead of at the hands of Kremlin assassins who operate inside and outside Russian borders — like Boris Nemtsov, a Putin rival assassinated in the shadow of the Kremlin in 2015 . 

“Throughout his life, Navalny proved to the world that Russia is not only about Putin’s gang of killers, but that it is also about millions of people who wish to see the country prosperous, wealthy and peaceful,” Lyubov Sobol, a Russian anti-war opposition politician — and a key member of Navalny’s team — exclusively told The Post Friday.

“Corruption is the Achilles’ heel of Putin’s regime, the basis on which loyalty to Putin is built in Russia,” added Sobol, who produced Navalny’s influential videos.

“Navalny, with his inherent charisma, talked about the specific crimes of Putin’s regime, and his narrative resonated in the hearts of Russians. His video investigations are the pinnacle of journalistic art. He fought for the rights of Russians to know the truth and dedicated his life to this.” 

It took time but the West finally came to understand that global corruption is a national security threat, as President Biden finally noted in 2021.

Some of Navalny’s most damning Putin exposés include:

Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on a high speed railway service in Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Russia on February 15, 2024.

Putin’s palace

In 2021, Navalny revealed Putin’s palace — a $1.35 billion Black Sea fortress — with a casino, Orthodox church, two helipads, a vineyard and even an underground ice hockey rink.

This exposé, complete with drone footage, has garnered 120 million hits since it was first posted on YouTube in January 2021, Sobol told The Post.

Oligarchs paid to build it — and it has been called the largest bribe in the world.

”They will keep on stealing more and more until they bankrupt the entire country,” Navalny said of Putin and his gang in the 113-minute video, according to the New York Times .

”Russia sells huge amounts of oil, gas, metals, fertilizer and timber — but people’s incomes keep falling and falling, because Putin has his palace.”

Alexei Navalny and Co have put together a website that discusses Putin's alleged Black Sea palace In great detail.

Putin’s superyachts

Navalny also exposed three of Putin’s massive superyachts, held in other people’s names to evade public relations fallout, not to mention sanctions.

The yachts include the Olympia and the Scheherazade, a 459-foot long, $700 million superyacht with a movie theater, helipad, pool and a security system that could shoot down drones.

It was seized in Italy , where another billionaire oligarch claims to own it.

There’s also the Graceful , which was moved from a German shipyard to Russia shortly before Putin’s illegal invasion of Crimea in 2022; its nickname is Kosatka, which means “Killer Whale.”

That yacht has a pool that turns into a dance floor and a helipad.

The Graceful, Navalny said, was staffed by members of the Russian Federal Security Service and sails with a motorcade; it has been spotted accompanied by a Russian Coast Guard boat helmed by the FSB, and it’s equipped with a special government-level “top secret” phone line.

A white motoryacht on the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal after refurbishment at Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg.

Putin’s retreat near Finland

In 2017, Navalny exposed Putin’s  massive holiday island retreat near Finland , according to the Guardian. Known as Villa Segren, the mansion sits on 50 acres around Lodochny island in the Gulf of Finland.

Navalny showed drone footage of new homes, a villa, a helipad and pier on the property — and said the site was heavily guarded. 

“All the evidence clearly points towards one of Vladimir Putin’s standard corruption schemes,” Navalny said in the video.

“His personal assets are registered under the names of his close friends who have become fabulously wealthy over the last 17 years.” 

Aerial view of Villa Segren, the 50-acre island mansion near Finnish border allegedly used as holiday retreat by Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev’s manor

In 2016, Navalny exposed the 200-acre “Milovka Manor,” about five hours from Moscow, where then-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was said to holiday with his family, according to the Moscow Times .

It included a marina, ski slope, a special communications tower, giant outdoor chess board, three helipads and a special home for ducks who lived like tsars — yellow ducks then became a symbol of protest.

In a “fear and loathing” essay that Navalny wrote in August, after being handed a 19-year jail sentence, he wrote that he blamed the “reformers” of the 1990s who squandered a historic opportunity to bring democracy to Russia in favor of getting rich by rigged privatization auctions, overriding the courts, fixing elections, creating a culture of lies and the fetishization of wealth — they even sold Russians on a constitution that gave the president the powers of a tsar.

“There was no creeping or overt coup in our country led by people from the special services,” Navalny wrote.

“They did not come to power by pushing the democrat reformers out of power. They did it themselves. They called them themselves. They invited them themselves. They taught them how to fake elections. How to steal property from entire industries. How to lie to the media. How to change laws to suit themselves. How to suppress opposition by force. Even how to organize idiotic, stupid, talentless wars.”

A man sitting in a court with handcuffs on his hands, identified as Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader.

“That is why I can’t help it and I fiercely hate those who sold, drank, and wasted the historical chance that our country had in the early 90s … I hate the swindlers, whom we used to call reformers for some reason,” he continued.

“Now it is very clear that they did nothing but intrigue and take care of their own wealth. Is there any other country where so many Ministers of the “Government of Reforms” became millionaires and billionaires? I hate the authors of the most stupid authoritarian constitution, which they sold to us idiots as democratic, even then giving the president the power of a full-fledged monarch.”

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What Navalny witnessed made him believe that Putin’s Russia was even worse than the Soviet Union.

“I have no good words about the Soviet Union, but at least they had some restraints thanks to a party ideology and followed some rules of the game on the global scene at least in the later stages — they avoided killing their opponents in front of the whole world deliberately and openly,” Zaslavsky told The Post.

“Only under Putin have the execution-style deaths of rivals and gradual torture of Navalny become standard. Navalny was very brave. He understood what happened and he still went back to Russia. He exposed the systemic corruption on an unprecedented scale — not just of Putin but of everyone around him.”

“Navalny tried to mobilize people to fight. He lived by his actions. Not just his words.” 

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Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on a high speed railway service in Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Russia on February 15, 2024.


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From a Russian Banker, a $4 Million Mansion and a 200-Foot Yacht

A video released by the anticorruption activist Aleksei Navalny accuses the head of a government-owned bank of showering the gifts on his girlfriend, a reporter for state TV.

yacht and mansion

By Anton Troianovski

MOSCOW — The video opens with a plaque on a bench in New York’s Central Park: “Don’t forget we are of the same blood. I LOVE YOU.”

The apparent Russian-taxpayer-funded romance behind the plaque, as documented by the opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny in a 29-minute video posted online on Monday, has become Russia’s latest viral story about the ruling elite’s intermingling of public funds with personal pleasure.

A reporter for Russian state television, Nailya Asker-Zade, has long been dating Andrey L. Kostin, the chairman of Russia’s second-largest bank, the government-owned VTB, according to Russian news reports . In the video, Mr. Navalny accuses Mr. Kostin of showering Ms. Asker-Zade with gifts so lavish that they seemingly could only have been paid for out of government coffers — a $4 million mansion, a 200-foot yacht and $470,000 in private jet flights in one month alone.

Ms. Asker-Zade, for her part, contributed at least $10,000 to the Central Park Conservancy, according to the organization’s 2015 annual report . That contribution — the minimum threshold in Central Park’s Adopt-a-Bench program — appears to have paid for the plaque highlighted by Mr. Navalny, which says it is for “Andrey Kostin” from “Nailya.”

“Putin’s rule means shamelessness and degradation,” Mr. Navalny intones at the end of the video, which is produced in his populist, mocking and fast-paced style. “Each of us must do our own small part to fight it.”

By Tuesday, about 24 hours after Mr. Navalny posted it, the video had risen close to the top of YouTube’s Russian “trending” list and drawn more than 2.5 million views — a success even by Mr. Navalny’s standards. His clips documenting official corruption regularly draw audiences in the millions.

VTB did not respond to a request for comment on the video. Ms. Asker-Zade, in an Instagram post , thanked Mr. Navalny for the “native advertisement.”

YouTube and most other popular platforms remain freely accessible in Russia. But Mr. Navalny published the video on the same day that Mr. Putin signed legislation that augurs a further clampdown on freedom of speech: a law that allows Moscow to declare as “foreign agents” people who publish anything online while receiving funding from abroad.

“If you get a dollar from ad monetization on YouTube, you’re a foreign agent!” a popular Russian blogger, Aleksandr Gorbunov , wrote on Twitter . “If you donate more than $10,000 to New York’s Central Park, you’re a Russian patriot!”

Mr. Navalny is Mr. Putin’s loudest domestic critic, with a nationwide network of supporters that has allowed him to stage coordinated street protests across the country. His slickly produced videos speak to Russians’ anger about inequality and hypocritical, thieving officialdom. He interspersed his tally of Ms. Asker-Zade’s wealth with Russian state television reports soliciting donations for children in need of expensive medical care.

Polls show Russians’ dissatisfaction with Mr. Putin rising over the last year and a half, and flash points of protest have popped up across the country . In one apparent sign of the Kremlin’s nervousness, the authorities have raised the pressure on Mr. Navalny’s network in large-scale raids and searches in recent months.

“We don’t know about this investigation,” the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said on Monday when asked about Mr. Navalny’s video. “As a result, we can’t comment on it at all.”

The government-run news agencies RIA Novosti and Tass published articles on Mr. Peskov’s response, Google search results show. By Tuesday, those articles were no longer accessible on the agencies’ websites.

Oleg Matsnev contributed research.

Anton Troianovski has been a Moscow correspondent for The New York Times since September 2019. He was previously Moscow bureau chief of the Washington Post and spent 9 years with the Wall Street Journal in Berlin and New York. More about Anton Troianovski

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Exiled russian oligarch’s 257’ superyacht amaryllis seen towed through palm beach.

The Amaryllis being towed past the former mansion of Henry Flagler, built in 1902

By John Jannarone and Alan Hatfield

The 257’ superyacht Amaryllis apparently owned by exiled Russian oligarch Andrey Borodin was towed past Palm Beach, FL on Friday morning, according to a visual account by CorpGov .

The yacht, whose owner is frequently cited as Mr. Borodin by enthusiast publications, moved slowly through the Lake Worth lagoon where bridges were raised for its passage. A towboat with flashing lights about 150 feet ahead pulled the Amaryllis , built by German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen in 2011.

While CorpGov could not officially confirm Mr. Borodin as the owner of the vessel, his wife, socialite Tatiana Korsakova, has posted dozens of Instagram photos and videos aboard the Amaryllis. A yacht broker interviewed by CorpGov confirmed that Ms. Korsakova is indeed aboard the Amaryllis in the photos and videos.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Tatiana Korsakova (@tati_vk)

The sighting comes as billions of dollars in Russian-owned yachts have been seized around the world as a result of international sanctions. CNN has published an extensive list of seized vessels, which were taken in harbor cities including Mallorca, Spain and London.

However, it is unclear if the Amaryllis was being seized or voluntarily towed. Very large yachts often choose to be towed because bridges are required to raise for them, according to the yacht broker.

The former Bank of Moscow chief was granted political asylum in the UK in February 2013 after fleeing what he alleged to be politically-motivated fraud and embezzlement charges. Mr. Borodin would go on to be tried and convicted in abstentia in Russian Court in 2018, but not before managing to enlist a number of prominent American lawmakers to lobby Washington for a U.S. visa. Despite Russian extradition requests to the UK government, Borodin’s controversial attempts to make large donations to the NHS, and the uncovering of an assassination plot against his life, the fugitive banker remains overseas, having been granted access to his Swiss bank accounts and having made several notable London real estate purchases during his time in exile.

Mr. Borodin is widely listed as a billionaire, but his total wealth remains difficult to confirm accurately, with the governments of Switzerland and the Bahamas having been asked to help the Russian government in its legal case. In 2012, Borodin purchased the UK’s then-most expensive home, an 80-hectare 18th-century estate in Oxfordshire, for upwards of $217 million. In 2017 he was granted access to personal Swiss accounts holding a reported $378 million. The Amaryllis was purchased for a reported $120 million.

Mr. Borodin did not immediately respond to an emailed query from CorpGov , while the FBI declined to comment. An emailed query to The Department of Homeland Security was not returned.

[email protected]

Twitter: CorpGovernor


Meet The Russian Billionaire Who’s The Proxy Owner Of Putin’s $500 Million Yacht

The u.s. department of justice alleges that eduard khudainatov, the ex-ceo of state-owned oil giant rosneft, acts as the "straw owner” for three superyachts held by vladimir putin and two russian oligarchs—but khudainatov has a multibillion dollar fortune of his own, thanks to his ties to the kremlin’s inner circle..

E duard Khudainatov is one of Russia’s most mysterious oligarchs. A former CEO of Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft and a longtime associate of Igor Sechin—Rosneft’s current boss and Putin’s right-hand man —the 61-year-old Khudainatov was largely unknown outside of his home country until last month. His Independent Petroleum Company, known by its Russian initials NNK, was a relatively small player in Russia’s oil industry until a blockbuster deal with Khudainatov’s former employer Rosneft in December 2020.

But Khudainatov’s obscurity ended in May, when U.S. authorities identified him as the proxy owner of two megayachts: the 459-foot Scheherazade , which has been linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the 348-foot Amadea , which the U.S. Department of Justice found is ultimately owned by sanctioned Russian gold mogul Suleiman Kerimov. U.S. authorities seized Amadea in Fiji after a month-long legal battle on June 7. (A Fijian lawyer representing the British Virgin Islands-based company that formally owns Amadea disputed the claim that Khudainatov owns the yacht on Kerimov's behalf.)

According to the DOJ, Khudainatov acted as a “clean, unsanctioned straw owner,” appearing to own the ships on paper and concealing the true owners—Putin and Kerimov—from authorities who might sanction the vessels. An investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and its partners, including Forbes , found that Khudainatov is also the straw owner of the 445-foot Crescent , with the actual owner being Rosneft boss Sechin. (Rosneft disputes Sechin’s ownership of Crescent.) The three floating palaces to which Khudainatov apparently lent his name are worth a combined $1.2 billion, according to yacht valuation experts VesselsValue.

His days as a proxy owner of the yachts are likely numbered: The European Union sanctioned Khudainatov on June 3. But while that move puts his friends’ yachts at risk, Khudainatov is still very wealthy in his own right. Based on years of annual reports filed by his holding companies in Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and Russia, Forbes estimates that Khudainatov is worth at least $2 billion, thanks to his 100% stake in NNK and luxury real estate in Italy and Russia. His properties range from a seaside mansion (said to be haunted) on the Italian Riviera to a home on 295 acres in the upscale Moscow suburb of Rublyovka. He also owns Coalstar, a firm with large coal assets in Russia. A spokesperson for Khudainatov did not respond to a request for comment.

Eduard Khudainatov is the “straw” owner of Amadea (left), which was seized by U.S. authorities in June, and Scheherazade (right), linked to Vladimir Putin and frozen by Italian police in May.

The origins of his fortune lie in Khudainatov’s decades-long relationships with Putin and Sechin. He worked on Putin's first presidential campaign in 2000 and then as his presidential envoy to a remote region in the Arctic circle. In 2010, after two years as Rosneft’s vice president, he was elevated to CEO— reportedly on Sechin’s orders . Their families are also neighbors, according to an investigation by Russian media outlet Proekt : Khudainatov’s son Aleksey owns a home in Rublyovka next door to properties owned by Sechin and his daughter Inga. And in July 2013, when Khudainatov left Rosneft, he reportedly met with Putin and gained his approval to set up his own oil company, NNK. In a response to written questions about Sechin’s ties to Khudainatov, a representative for Rosneft said that “the request contains a set of unsubstantiated fabrications based on slanderous evidence from anonymous and knowingly biased sources.” (Rosneft did not respond to Forbes ’ subsequent question about which points were “unsubstantiated fabrications.”)

“He warmed the seat for [Sechin at Rosneft.] Sechin became confident that Khudainatov was extremely loyal,” says Vladimir Milov, a Russian opposition politician and economist who served as Russia’s deputy energy minister in 2002. “And we see that they really keep partnering in a lot of ways.”

Their biggest partnership came in December 2020, when NNK sold enormous oilfields in the Taimyr peninsula in Siberia to Rosneft for $11 billion—$9.6 billion in cash and older oil-producing “tail” assets worth $1.4 billion—which helped turn NNK into Russia’s seventh-largest oil producer in 2021. That sale provided an instant windfall for Khudainatov, enabling him to repay at least $3.9 billion in debt going back to 2014, when NNK acquired oil producer Alliance. It was also a sweet deal for Rosneft and Sechin: the newly purchased oilfields were the missing link in Vostok Oil, Sechin’s brainchild and a mammoth $85 billion project that’s expected to produce as many as 2 million barrels of oil per day once it’s complete in 2030.

“He’s getting some kind of special treatment from Rosneft,” an oil & gas analyst who worked in Russia for over a decade tells Forbes . “He’s taking these tail assets and his production is way up, and I would imagine that’ll eventually mean more money for him personally.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin (right) on a state visit to Turkey in 2018.

K hudainatov was born in Shymkent , Kazakhstan, when it was still part of the Soviet Union, in 1960. After graduating from a local high school in 1976, he worked at a state-owned farm near Odessa in Ukraine before serving three years in the Soviet Army’s border force.

His first job in the oil and gas industry was installing rigs for the oil firm Yuganskneftegaz in the remote Siberian city of Nefteyugansk. He then spent four years at the Soviet Oil and Gas Ministry in nearby Surgut, before moving back to Nefteyugansk in 1989 to run a pig farm.

Khudainatov returned to the energy sector in 1993, joining Nefteyugansk-based oil firm Evikhon as vice president. He mostly stayed in the Nefteyugansk area until 2000, working variously as the president of another local firm and serving a four-year stint as mayor of the town of Poikovsky. Those years also brought him closer to Russia’s center of power: he earned a degree in trade from the International Academy of Entrepreneurship in Moscow in 1996 and then was appointed a deputy in the regional parliament of Tyumen in Siberia the following year.

The year 2000 was a key turning point for Khudainatov: he led Putin’s presidential campaign in Nefteyugansk and earned a law degree at Tyumen State University. In 2003, after a chance encounter on an airplane with Alexander Ryazanov—the then-deputy chairman of state-owned gas giant Gazprom, who had first met Khudainatov while they were both in the Tyumen regional parliament—he was appointed CEO of a Gazprom subsidiary that operated in the Tyumen region.

The city of Nefteyugansk in western Siberia, where Khudainatov got his start in the oil and gas industry in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Khudainatov’s workaholic personality served him well. “This is a man who can be landed on the moon with a shovel, come back in six months and [you’ll] find a garden,” Ryazanov once told Forbes Russia .

In 2004, while still at Gazprom, he teamed up with his brother Zhan and Ryazanov to take over Severneft, a company with oil and gas deposits in Siberia. Krini Holding, a Switzerland-based company for which Khudainatov had power of attorney, bought Severneft and took out a $40.3 million loan from Parex, a bank in Latvia, pledging Severneft’s equity as collateral. A year later, the loan was increased to $52.4 million, according to documents seen by Forbes and OCCRP. Khudainatov has denied any link to Severneft or companies linked to it.

But things didn’t go quite as anticipated. Khudainatov and Ryazanov had planned to eventually export gas from Severneft through Gazprom’s pipelines, but they weren’t able to strike a deal. Ryazanov left Gazprom in 2006, the same year that 10% of Severneft was transferred to a web of companies in the U.K. and Cyprus ultimately owned by Khudainatov’s son Aleksey. (The remaining 90% was held by Krini Holding.) Unable to close the Gazprom deal, Severneft established a subsidiary to build a gas processing plant and took out another $75 million in loans from Parex between 2006 and 2008 to finance the project. One loan made in November 2006 was personally guaranteed by Khudainatov, according to documents seen by Forbes and OCCRP.

Alexander Ryazanov served as deputy chairman of Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom from 2001 to 2006. During his tenure, he hired Khudainatov as the CEO of Gazprom subsidiary Severneftegazprom.

Parex collapsed under the weight of the financial crisis and was taken over by the Latvian government in 2008. That same year, Khudainatov left Gazprom and joined Rosneft as vice president, while still holding onto his Severneft stake and also serving on the board of engineering firm Stroytransgaz—owned by the oligarch and Putin ally Gennady Timchenko . He rose quickly at Rosneft thanks to his close relationship with Sechin, gaining the top job in 2010.

“We were at an ice hockey game and Sechin pulled up in his [Mercedes] S class and Khudainatov got out behind him in a Mercedes police SUV. The two guys in the front seat were special forces with machine guns,” says the oil and gas analyst. “You have to be somebody to get that kind of treatment.”

In August 2011, Severneft transferred its assets to a new company and was then liquidated, while still owing money to Parex. Five months later, the new company was sold to fertilizer manufacturer EuroChem for $403 million. Parex’s successor bank, Reverta, sued to recover $78 million in outstanding loans that hadn’t been paid back, but the lawsuits went nowhere.

W hen Sechin returned to Rosneft as CEO after finishing his term as Putin’s deputy prime minister in May 2012, Khudainatov accepted his demotion to vice president. But he also wanted to venture out on his own. Khudainatov left Rosneft in July 2013 and—after reportedly receiving approval from Putin—embarked on his new adventure at NNK.

NNK struck its first deal a month later, when the firm reportedly paid $500 million for two firms including OJSC Payakha, which owned a large oilfield in the Taimyr peninsula with undeveloped reserves. In 2014, Khudainatov set his sights on a much bigger target: Alliance Oil, a firm owned by the wealthy Bazhaev family of Russia. NNK and Alliance agreed to a joint venture in April that year, with Alliance owning 60% and NNK taking 40%. Once again, Khudainatov resorted to debt, with NNK taking a $3.9 billion loan from state-owned bank VTB, according to annual reports filed for Khudainatov’s holding companies in Cyprus. Part of that loan—$1.3 billion—was routed through another Cyprus-based firm owned by Ivan Mihaylov Kolarov, listed as a “business partner” of Khudainatov in the documents, which obtained a loan from VTB on behalf of NNK. All of NNK’s assets, held through a holding company in Cyprus, were pledged as collateral for the loans.

Vladimir Putin joined Khudainatov (right) at a signing ceremony with the CEO of Statoil (left) in Moscow in 2012.

In September 2014, NNK bought out the Bazhaev family to take over all of Alliance, reportedly using the cash provided by VTB to fund the acquisition. With ownership of Alliance’s assets, Khudainatov also became a partner to several Western oil majors: Alliance had a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell running a network of gas stations in Ukraine, as well as a partnership with Spanish oil producer Repsol called AR Oil & Gas B.V. At the same time, NNK bought another company with undeveloped reserves—Kondaneft—at auction for $61 million.

“It was a really strange deal,” says a source who knew Khudainatov. “[NNK’s] assets were greenfield assets with probable reserves. Nobody knew how much [oil and gas] there was.”

That debt-fueled spending soon became a problem for Khudainatov when oil prices collapsed in 2015, forcing NNK’s subsidiary Alliance to restructure $350 million in dollar-denominated bonds . NNK had little production and was saddled with debt, making it difficult to invest the sums needed to develop the promising oilfields the company had acquired. Khudainatov asked the Russian National Wealth Fund —Russia’s sovereign wealth fund—for $1.4 billion to develop the Payakha oilfield in April 2015, but the money was never allocated.

“[NNK] was a marginal player in terms of production,” says the oil and gas analyst. “The main issue [with Payakha] was that he wasn't able to develop it.”

Instead, Khudainatov turned to his old boss, Sechin. In April 2017, NNK sold Kondaneft to Rosneft for $700 million. But he ran into a different issue two months later, when the U.S. sanctioned NNK for “reportedly [shipping] over $1 million worth of petroleum products” to North Korea. At the time, Khudainatov denied the allegations and told Russia's state-owned news agency TASS that he was “completely shocked” by the sanctions.

According to annual reports in Cyprus, another NNK subsidiary sold its stake in Yugtorsan—the largest oil transport and storage terminal in Crimea —in December 2017 for a bargain price of $170 to Stepan Pyatnitsky, a director and board member at two NNK subsidiaries in Russia, after Yugtorsan had to “limit its operations significantly and curtail its business” following the Russian occupation of Crimea in March 2014.

“This is a man who can be landed on the moon with a shovel, come back in six months and [you’ll] find a garden.” Alexander Ryazanov to Forbes Russia

The financial troubles continued through December 2018, when NNK’s Cyprus holding company transferred its loan from VTB to a syndicate of banks. While NNK is based in Russia, Khudainatov owns the firm and its assets through a long chain of offshore companies in Cyprus, with certain key assets—Alliance, the Payakha field and the joint ventures with Shell and Repsol—held through companies in Bermuda, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands.

“Many of NNK’s investments [were] in greenfield projects, which [were] not yet generating a lot of cash,” says former deputy energy minister Milov.

The U.S. finally lifted sanctions on NNK in March 2020, and Khudainatov went back to dealmaking. In December that year, NNK sold Taimyrneftegaz —its subsidiary that owned the Payakha oilfield—to Rosneft for $11 billion in cash and older oilfields known as tail assets. According to annual reports seen by Forbes , the money was paid to a Luxembourg firm that owned Taimyrneftegaz and then transferred to NNK’s holding companies in Cyprus, which used some of the cash to repay NNK’s debt of $3.9 billion (plus interest) with the syndicate of banks and also paid out a $3 billion dividend. As part of the deal, NNK also received another $1.5 billion to be paid in September 2021.

“This was one of the biggest deals [in Russia],” says the oil and gas analyst. “He got all of these tail assets for probably pennies on the dollar. NNK’s production went up significantly.”

The large numbers obscure the fact that both Rosneft and NNK may have underpaid for the assets they received. According to a report by Polish think tank Warsaw Institute , Taimyrneftegaz was valued between $30 and $40 billion based on its reserves. The report also cites that the stated value of the tail assets NNK received—$1.4 billion—is lower than the estimated $4 billion valuation of only two of them.

The deal was mutually beneficial for Sechin and Khudainatov: Khudainatov paid off NNK’s debts and received assets that made NNK the seventh-largest oil producer in Russia. Sechin obtained Payakha, the missing piece in his Vostok Oil project, on which he has bet the future of Rosneft.

Since then, Khudainatov has continued to expand his empire. In April last year, NNK bought out Repsol’s 49% stake in their joint venture for $132 million. Two months later, his coal firm Coalstar won an auction to buy the Bogatyr coal mine in southern Siberia for $44 million. And while Khudainatov is now sanctioned, joining the ranks of oligarchs unable to access their luxury homes in the West, he is also likely wealthier than he has ever been.


Giacomo Tognini

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8 official residences of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin

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1. Novo-Ogaryevo in the Moscow Region

Main house of the Novo-Ogaryevo residence.

Main house of the Novo-Ogaryevo residence.

This is the place Putin calls home.

Located in the western part of the Moscow Region, not far from the capital, this residence is not a state secret, and it pops up in Google maps searches quite readily.

Novo-Ogaryevo became Putin’s official residence in 2000. Although he does not own the estate, he considers it home, which can easily be deduced from the fact that the residence remained in his de-facto possession when he took a four-year-long break from the presidency in 2008-2012, serving as Russia’s prime minister. According to Russian law , a retiring president can choose a residence to be allocated for perpetuity. Leaving office in 2008, Putin chose Novo-Ogaryevo.

Putin in Novo-Ogaryevo.

Putin in Novo-Ogaryevo.

The estate’s main house was built in the 19th century by order of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, the brother of Emperor Alexander III, and was later used as a residence by the Soviet government to welcome foreign delegations.

Unlike the White House, Novo-Ogoryevo is closed to the public. Still, here is an hour-long sneak peek inside. You can even see what’s in Putin’s fridge, 38 minutes and 16 seconds into the video .

2. The Kremlin

The Moscow Kremlin.

The Moscow Kremlin.

Since the Middle Ages, (with the exception of the years 1712 to 1917), the Moscow Kremlin was the main official residence of Russian leaders.

The President’s office is located in the Kremlin Senate, a historic building built by order of Catherine the Great from 1776 to 1787. Originally, it housed the Moscow branches of the Governing Senate.

President Putin's office in the Kremlin.

President Putin's office in the Kremlin.

Putin’s Kremlin office is located in the center of the building’s north wing. Unlike the U.S. presidential office, the Kremlin office is a rectangular shape, and in contrast to the Oval Office , the windows are located on the left side of the president’s table, not behind it. The table also differs in form from the one in the Oval Office: it has an elongated adjustment in front where Russia’s president holds one-on-one meetings with other government officials. The walls of the Kremlin office are inlaid with oak panels, and the ceiling is decorated with an ornamental pattern and has two massive chandeliers.

On the table multiple phones comprise the secure communication system used by Russia’s president.

Also  unlike the U.S. president, who is expected to live in the White House, Putin does not live in the Kremlin. Naturally, he can always drop by his historic office in a helicopter or by   car. 

3. An unknown apartment at an unknown location

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This is the only residence that officially belongs to Putin as a private individual.   This 77-square-meter apartment is remarkably modest for Russia’s president. Little is known about how it looks or even the approximate location, and the only bit of information is its size, which tells us it must be a two- or three-bedroom apartment in a residential building somewhere in Russia. Odds are that it’s in St. Petersburg, where Putin grew up.

Putin also owns a garage that measures 18-square meters.

4. A government-leased apartment in Moscow

Akademika Zelinskogo Street, 6.

Akademika Zelinskogo Street, 6.

Putin’s address in Moscow is widely publicized in the media: Akademika Zelinskogo Street, 6. The apartment is 153.7 square meters, and it was allocated to Putin in his capacity as Prime Minister under Boris Yeltsin in the late 1990s.

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Although it’s not known what floor the apartment is on, we have a couple of photos taken inside the modest apartment.

5. Bocharov Ruchey in Sochi

Bocharov Ruchey residence in Sochi, Russia.

Bocharov Ruchey residence in Sochi, Russia.

In addition to his main residence, Putin has a number of residences throughout Russia. One of the most widely publicized is Bocharov Ruchey in Sochi.

Completed in 1955, it was commissioned by Kliment Voroshilov, a Soviet marshall and strongman under Joseph Stalin. This government dacha was frequented by Soviet leaders such as Khrushchev and Brezhnev. In modern Russia, Bocharov Ruchey became an official summer residence of Russia’s president, and it’s the only government dacha on the Black Sea.

Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev in Bocharov Ruchey residence in Sochi.

Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev in Bocharov Ruchey residence in Sochi.

Here, Putin met U.S. President George W. Bush in 2008, and in 2018 he welcomed Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel with flowers .

6. Valdai residence

The Valdai residence was initially planned as one of Stalin’s dachas, but he thought  it too dangerous.

The Valdai residence was initially planned as one of Stalin’s dachas, but he thought it too dangerous.

Another official residence is located in the Novgorod Region, and goes by three different names: Valdai, Uzhyn, and Dolgie Borody.

The residence was initially planned as one of Stalin’s dachas, but he thought  it too dangerous: in the 1930s the residence was the only building on a small peninsula and was surrounded by dense forest, with only one escape route to the mainland.

Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi at President Putin's Valdai residence in Russia.

Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi at President Putin's Valdai residence in Russia.

Nevertheless, the Valdai residence was completed in the 1980s. The first president of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, liked fishing here. When Putin inherited the highest office, he also received the right to use the Valdai residence.

Surprisingly, you can check in and spend a couple of nights in one of the houses, but not in the actual president’s residence. It will only cost some $800 (50,000 rubles) for a stay of two nights.

7. Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg

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This palace, formerly owned by the Romanov family, is located on the Gulf of Finland, only 20 kilometers from the center of St. Petersburg.

Initially planned by Peter the Great as an imperial residence that would eclipse Versaille in its glory Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich of Russia resided here.

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In Soviet times, the estate became known as the Congress Palace, and was severely damaged during World War II. Also, it hosted students of the Leningrad Arctic School, but slowly decayed after the collapse of the USSR until the early 2000s when the Office of the President launched a massive restoration.

Although Putin does not live here, the palace is often used for official state events. The Konstantin Palace served as a venue for both the G-8 and G-20 summits in 2006 and 2013, respectively.

8. Yantar’ in Kaliningrad

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This presidential residence in Kaliningrad was built in the same place where the first Chancellor of the German Empire, Otto von Bismarck, had his palace.

During the War, the place hosted the Luftwaffe barracks. The current state residence was only completed in 2011 and opened by then-President Dmitri Medvedev. 

Although the residence officially belongs to the Office of the President, it has only hosted Medvedev and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov.

Click here to learn how much does the Russian President earn.

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Sanctioned Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich tried to offload his vast assets amid clampdowns on the country's oligarchs. Take a look at his luxury empire, including the 3rd-largest yacht in the world.

  • Billionaire Roman Abramovich was once the richest known man in Russia.
  • He was one of seven Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the UK government on March 10.
  • Before being sanctioned, Abramovich scrambled to sell his assets, including his $3 billion soccer club Chelsea FC.

Roman Abramovich was once the richest known man in Russia. Bloomberg pegs his net worth at $13.5 billion, a $4.1 billion slump since the beginning of the year.

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His net worth peaked in 2008 at $23.5 billion.

Ambramovich, 55, is known for his collection of superyachts, luxury cars, private planes, and homes around the world. The Wall Street Journal once nicknamed his global collection of extravagant possessions " The Roman Empire. "

The billionaire is the  largest shareholder of Evraz , one of the world's top producers of steel . He also owns stakes in the world's largest producer of refined nickel, according to Bloomberg.

Most of Abramovich's vast fortune comes from proceeds from selling Russian state-owned assets after the fall of the Soviet Union. He owned stakes in industries like airlines, oil, and aluminum .

In 2003, he sold a 26% stake of Russian airline company Aeroflot to the National Reserve Bank. In 2005, he sold his 70% stake in Russian oil company Sibneft for almost $10 billion. He also offloaded his aluminum assets for more than $2 billion.

Abramovich did not respond to Insider's request for comment for this story.

Katie Warren contributed to an earlier version of this article.

From 2003 to 2008, Abramovich was the governor of Chukotka, a remote Arctic province.

yacht and mansion

During his tenure, he spent $1.3 billion of his own money on the region.

Sibneft, the oil company of which he owned nearly 70%, was registered in the region until Abramovich sold his shares to the state-run energy company in 2015.

Abramovich has been married three times and has seven children.

yacht and mansion

His most recent marriage was to Dasha Zhukova, with whom he has two children . The couple cofounded the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and the New Holland Island cultural center in Saint Petersburg. In 2017, the couple announced they would be separating after 10 years together.

Abramovich was previously married to Irina Malandina for 16 years. They have four daughters and one son. At the time of their 2007 split, he was worth $18.7 billion. Although Russian courts usually award a wife half of the wealth built up during a marriage, Malandina settled for $300 million  — 1.6% of Abramovich's fortune.

Little is known about Abramovich's first marriage to Olga Yurevna Lysova, except that it lasted for three years, from 1987 to 1990.

Now, with the West's sanctions on Russia's oligarchs, Abramovich has reportedly been scrambling to sell his assets.

yacht and mansion

In the aftermath of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's organization named Abramovich one of 35 Russian individuals who should be considered for sanctions, The Guardian reported.  

Abramovich bought London-based Chelsea FC in 2003 from long-time chairman Ken Bates for $233 million. Abramovich is "a keen follower of sport and international football," a statement said at the time.

In a statement in March, Abramovich announced that he would be selling the club. "This has never been about business nor money for me, but pure passion for the game and Club," Abramovich said.

He also said all the net proceeds from the sale would go to those affected by the war in Ukraine. Bloomberg reported that he is seeking a bid of 3 billion pounds ($4 billion).

Abramovich is understood to have turned down a £2.5 billion ($3.3 billion) offer in late February or early March, per SkyNews.

Abramovich was among seven Russian oligarchs who were sanctioned by the UK on March 10.

Despite the billionaire rushing to offload some of his assets — including Chelsea Football Club — the sanctions now bar him from making deals to sell the club, banning all transactions between Abramovich and UK citizens and businesses . 

Chelsea FC is the seventh-most valuable soccer club in the world, per Forbes.

yacht and mansion

It was worth about $3.2 billion in 2021, per Forbes . While the club has amassed millions of fans around the world, not all are happy with its stance on Ukraine.

Chelsea FC posted a controversial statement in February, where it failed to mention Russia or Abramovich's ownership.

"The situation in Ukraine is horrific and devastating. Chelsea FC's thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. Everyone at the club is praying for peace," the club said in a statement on its website at the time.

However, Chelsea's financial future is now in doubt because of sanctions against Abramovich. Sanctions on him mean that the club's finances are frozen , and that Chelsea can now only spend around $26,000 per game on travel.

In 2018, Abramovich was granted Israeli citizenship and flew to Tel Aviv after facing delays in renewing his UK visa.

yacht and mansion

Upon moving to Tel Aviv, Abramovich became the richest man living in Israel. In 2020, local media reported that the billionaire had dropped $57 million on a seafront hotel in Tel Aviv.

In the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, several high-profile Israelis — including the chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and a chief rabbi — urged the US not to impose sanctions on Abramovich, according to The Times of Israel.

The representatives wrote a letter to the US ambassador in February commending Abramovich's investments, philanthropy, and contributions to Israel, the outlet reported. 

The museum's chairman told the Washington Post that Abramovich was the museum's second-largest private donor.

Reports indicate Abramovich is also rushing to offload his London real estate holdings.

yacht and mansion

The billionaire has homes all over the world, including a $118.4 million home in Kensington Palace Gardens in London, an area nicknamed "Billionaires' Row," according to The Guardian .

"He's terrified of being sanctioned, which is why he's already going to sell his home tomorrow and sell another flat as well," Labour MP Chris Bryant told the UK Parliament in March, per Bloomberg .

Abramovich is also among the billionaires who own homes at Eaton Square — an exclusive garden estate in London that is nicknamed "Red Square" because of the number of Russian billionaires who own properties there. 

Abramovich has spent tens of millions of dollars on prime New York City real estate.

yacht and mansion

Abramovich paid $96 million for four townhouses on New York City's Upper East Side with plans to turn them into one megamansion. He also bought another property two blocks away.

In September 2018, Abramovich transferred four of the five properties, all in a row on East 75th Street, to his third ex-wife, Zhukova, for about $92 million as part of their divorce proceedings, the New York Post reported, citing city property records.

Abramovich reportedly owns a home in Antibes on the French Riviera.

yacht and mansion

Abramovich bought the Chateau de la Croe , a mansion that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, in 2001, per Bloomberg.

In 2018, A French court found that Abramovich had undervalued the holiday home and had not paid enough wealth tax in 2006 and 2007.

In 2009, Abramovich dropped $90 million on an estate on the Caribbean island of St. Bart's, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person close to the deal.

yacht and mansion

The 70-acre estate is replete with Balinese bungalows with ocean views, tennis courts, swimming pools, and music pavilions, per the Journal's 2009 report .

Homes aren't the only things Abramovich likes to collect: The billionaire has reportedly spent hundreds of millions of dollars on yachts on his lifetime.

yacht and mansion

Abramovich bought the superyacht Pelorus in 2004. At the time, it was the 11th-largest yacht in the world, per Yacht Harbour .

But Abramovich's second ex-wife, Malandina, got the yacht in their divorce settlement .

Before sanctions were imposed on Abramovich on March 10, a 460-foot superyacht Solaris that was linked to Abramovich   departed a Barcelona shipyard after being docked there for repairs since 2021. The $600 million vessel left Spain on March 8, and was tracked moving eastward after leaving the shipyard.

Solaris was spotted on March 12 , anchored in Montenegro. 

Abramovich later spent nearly $500 million on a superyacht called Eclipse.

yacht and mansion

At 533 feet long, Eclipse was once the world's largest yacht, though it's since been overtaken by the 590-foot Azzam , which launched in 2013, and later too by REV Ocean , a sleek, 600-foot yacht that launched in 2019.

Among Eclipse's amenities are two helicopter pads, cabins to host 36 guests and space for 70 crew, a 52-foot swimming pool — and a missile detection system.

The yacht was in a Barcelona shipyard last year for renovations, The Guardian reported in February.

However, the superyacht this week appeared to be headed in the direction of the Solaris yacht . According to data from MarineTraffic , the two superyachts could eventually meet in the Ionian sea if the Eclipse were to keep its course sailing east across the Mediterranean Sea. 

Abramovich has reportedly owned at least three other yachts in his lifetime, including Le Grand Bleu .

His car collection is nothing to scoff at either.

yacht and mansion

Abramovich reportedly has dropped more than $11 million on luxury vehicles , including the above limited edition Ferrari FXX. Only 29 were made.

Abramovich also bought a Pagani Zonda Roadster, one of only 15 ever to be made, according to The Telegraph. He has also reportedly bought  a Bugatti Veyron, a Mercedes AMG GT3, and an Aston Martin Vulcan.

Abramovich has a number of airplanes in his personal fleet, including a Boeing 767-33AER.

yacht and mansion

The customized interior of the aircraft includes a banquet hall that seats 30 people, a kitchen, an office, and a bedroom.

Abramovich previously owned a Dassault Falcon 900, which his ex-wife  Irina Malandina got in their 2007 divorce settlement, per Boss Hunting.

Meanwhile, a $65 million Gulfstream private jet linked to Abramovich was seen flying from Israel to Istanbul on March 14. Abramovich himself was spotted at a VIP lounge in Israel  before the Gulfstream jet made its journey to Turkey. 

Abramovich's personal art collection comprises works by Pablo Picasso, Lucian Freud, and Francis Bacon.

yacht and mansion

In 2008, he spent $34 million on a piece entitled "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping" by Freud.

The very next night at Sotheby's, Abramovich paid $86.3 million for Francis Bacon's "Triptych, 1976," according to The Wall Street Journal .

But Abramovich's art collection could soon be under scrutiny. Several countries are looking to freeze Russian billionaires' foreign-owned assets, which could include some of the most valuable pieces in the world, reported The Art Newspaper.

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Mansions in Russia for sale

Village Millennium Park 873 in the Moscow region

Modern house of 873 sqm in Millennium Park village

  • Contact for price

Representative building with furniture in Milyutinsky Lane in Moscow

Office building of 10380 square meters in the center of Moscow

  • 111739 Sq Ft

House 945 sqm with 5 bedrooms in the village of Deauville on the Minsk highway Moscow region

Mansion 945 sqm 16 km from Moscow

  • 8 Bathrooms
  • 10170 Sq Ft

The village of Deauville in the Odintsovo district of the Moscow region

Mansion 600 sqm 16 km from Moscow

Mansion in Novogorsk settlement

3-story mansion 1256 m²

  • 13520 Sq Ft

Mansion on the Minskoe highway 5 km from the Moscow Ring Road in the village of Moskvoretsky Forest Park

English-style mansion 8 km from Moscow

  • 26900 Sq Ft

House in the village of Gorki-2 716

House 750 sqm in the village of Gorki 2

Cottage village Residence Club 900

House 900 sqm 12 km from Moscow

  • $18,000,000

Ilyinskoye field in the Moscow region 2

Modern house 2000 sqm on Rublevsky highway

  • 21530 Sq Ft

House 1128 sqm in Millennium Park

House 1128 sqm 22 km from Moscow

  • 12140 Sq Ft

House on Rubevo Uspenskoye Highway 974 sqm in Nikolino

House with a swimming pool on Rublevo-Uspenskoe highway 974 sqm

  • 10485 Sq Ft
  • $12,500,000

French style house in Odintsovo

House 2500 sqm 10 km from Moscow

Design house in Wright style with elements of a chalet

House 600 sqm in the village of Nikolskaya Sloboda

Sobnyak in the village of Nikolo-Uryupino Moscow Region

Mansion 1800 sqm with swimming pool

  • 19375 Sq Ft

Luxurious mansion near Strogino metro station in Moscow

Mansion 661 sqm on the peninsula in Moscow

Brick mansion with 4 bedrooms in the village of Tagankovo

Mansion 870 sqm on Rublevo-Uspenskoe highway

Mansion in the village of Deauville 12 km along the Mozhaisk highway

Mansion 2164 sqm 12 km from Moscow

  • 23293 Sq Ft

3-storey house 4090 sqft in the village of Deauville in the Odintsovo district

House 380 sqm 12 km from Moscow

  • 2 Bathrooms

Elite mansion in Russia 780

Mansion 785 sqm in the most expensive place in the Moscow Oblast

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Mansion for office space in the center of Moscow

  • 19600 Sq Ft

House in Barvikha village

Luxury house with pool in Barvikha

  • 7 Bathrooms
  • 12090 Sq Ft

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Elite mansion with a swimming pool in Svitino

  • 4 Bathrooms

Luxury Moscow house

Luxury house 8290 sqft in Vnukovskoye settlement

  • 3 Bathrooms

Dacha 1

4-storey brick dacha near Moscow

Villas in russia.

If you’re looking for luxury mansions in Russia, you will find them concentrated in and around Moscow. The same is generally true of villas in Russia. We have compiled a selection of homes worth over 15 million USD each. Each of these mansions and residences is located in one of the elite gated communities concentrated around the Rublyovskoye shosse and Novorizhskoye shosse. So if Rublyovka mansions are your thing, you’ve come to the right place! The minimum total floor area of the properties listed below is 4 265 sqft (1 300 m²), while the maximum is over 16 404 sqft (5 000 m²). The land plots which the properties stand on and which are sold together with the properties range from 50 to 520 “sotkas” (1 “sotka” is 0.01 hectares) or from 1.2 ac to 12.8 ac in area and are fully landscaped.

Luxury mansion in a pine forest in Konus gated community Price: 15 million USD Total floor area: 4 921 sqft (1 500 m²) Land plot area: 1.2 ac (50 sotkas) Rublyovo-Uspenskoye shosse, 6 mi (10 km) from MKAD A 3-story mansion situated in a pine forest in a gated community called Konus, not far from the Moskva River. On the first floor there is a foyer, billiard room, gym, cinema room, massage room, pantry and lounge. On the second floor there is a hall, a living room with a fireplace, a study, a kitchen, a dining room, 2 bedrooms, a pool with an attached sauna and hammam, and a lounge. On the third floor there is a hall, a master bedroom, 4 guest bedrooms and several walk-in wardrobes. The mansion also has a mansard room with roof access.

Villa with gold leaf and carp pond in Sherwood gated community Price: 18 million USD Total floor area: 7 217 sqft (2 200 m²) Land plot area: 4.9 ac (200 sotkas) Novorizhskoye shosse, 16 mi (26 km) from MKAD A villa built in the Art Nouveau style with gold-gilded interior elements. The main entrance and foyer boast beautiful staircases with wrought iron railings and decorative pillars. On the first floor there is a gym, a home cinema room, a billiard room with a bar, a pool with a sauna, a laundry room, several staff rooms and a wine cellar. On the second floor there is a walk-in wardrobe, a hall, a dining room, a living room with a fireplace, a lounge, a kitchen, a master bedroom, a study and a reception office. On the third floor there is a housekeeper’s room, several guest bedrooms, a children’s room and a game room, and also a study. The surrounding territory is landscaped in the palace garden style and contains a carp pond. There are also other buildings on the property: a banya, a security guard’s house with a garage, and a parking lot for 15 cars.

Villa with its own mini golf course in Kotovo gated community Price: 22 million USD Total floor area: 9 842 sqft (3 000 m²) Land plot area: 12.8 ac (520 sotkas) Novorizhskoye shosse, 28 mi (45 km) from MKAD A 2-story villa with 10 bedrooms, several living rooms, studies, walk-in wardrobes and other spaces. Right by the villa is a landscaped area with a promenade zone. The sprawling 5-hectare territory belonging to the property contains recreation areas and attractions, a mini golf course, a 10-car garage, a guesthouse with a banya, a large gazebo with heating, a pond and a roe deer enclosure.

Huge elite detached house designed by Carlo Scagnelli Price: 50 million USD Total floor area: 8 530 sqft (2 600 m²) Land plot area: 2.7 ac (109 sotkas) “Meyendorff Gardens” gated community Rublyovo-Uspenskoye shosse, 5.5 mi (9 km) from MKAD The most expensive mansion in our selection, built in the Provence style. It was designed by the Carlo Scagnelli Italian architectural firm. Natural materials from Italy and Austria were used for the house’s finishings. The interior design is in the XIX century style. On the first floor there is a hall, a wine cellar and several utility spaces. On the second floor there is a hall, a walk-in wardrobe, a utility space, a living room with a terrace, a kitchen, a dining room, 2 guest bedrooms and a spa zone with a pool and sauna. On the third floor there is a game room with a terrace, a children’s bedroom, a study, a master bedroom and a walk-in wardrobe.

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BREAKING: Tarpon Island sells for $152M, setting new lakefront-sale record in Palm Beach

Developer todd michael glaser and investors sell palm beach's only private island, with its renovated-and-expanded mansion..

yacht and mansion

Palm Beach just saw a new lakefront price record set with the $152 million sale of Tarpon Island — the town’s only private island — and its newly renovated-and-expanded mega-mansion . The sale price was reported Friday in the multiple listing service for the property addressed as 10 Tarpon Isle. 

The buyer’s identity has not yet been confirmed by the Palm Beach Daily News, and a deed has not yet been recorded for the transaction at the Palm Beach County Courthouse. But the buyer appears to have already taken occupancy of the estate, according to people familiar with the neighborhood.

Affording panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway, the artificial island in the Estate Section measures about 2.3 acres with a combined 1,163 feet of waterfront on all four sides. 

The property was priced at $187.5 million when it sold. It holds the record as the most expensive Palm Beach house ever marketed in the MLS.

The Palm Beach Daily News is the first media outlet to report the sale.

With 11 bedrooms, the two-story mansion has 28,618 total square feet of living space, inside and out. The long list of amenities includes one of the town’s only lighted tennis court and two swimming pools, one of which stretches 98 feet along the lakefront with a whirlpool spa and a “cold plunge” pool. 

Developer Todd Michael Glaser spearheaded the overhaul of the estate —through his eponymous Miami Beach-based real estate company — and led the investment group that just sold the property.

Glaser previously told the Palm Beach Daily News that a confidentiality agreement prevents him and others involved in the sale from discussing the transaction or the buyer. 

Bridge connects Palm Beach's Tarpon Island to the rest of town

But Glaser had previously told the Palm Beach Daily News that Tarpon Island’s location is like no other: “It has its own bridge. How many houses in Palm Beach have a bridge? None,” Glaser said in a December article about the house. 

That picturesque bridge connects the island to the rest of Palm Beach’s Estate Section. The island also is accessible by boat.

Tarpon Island already held the record for the priciest Palm Beach lakefront property ever sold, a distinction it earned when Glaser and his investors bought it for $85 million in the summer of 2021 from its longtime owners, private investor William Toll and his wife, Eileen. 

The reported price of the just-closed sale fell short of Palm Beach's two priciest residential real estate deals, which both closed last year — an off-market sale reported at $170 million for an oceanfront estate at 589 N. County Road; and a private transaction recorded at $155 million for the estate of the late Rush Limbaugh at 1495 N. Ocean Blvd. The deal on North County Road was structured so that the sale price was never documented at the courthouse.

The renovation on Tarpon Island more than doubled the size of the 1930s-era Bermudian-style house on the east side of the property. The project turned that house into a guesthouse with an ultra-luxury fitness-and-beauty area. A new, much-larger addition with the main living areas was built onto the original house in a similar architectural style. The main residence has an expansive living area and a loggia with a fireplace, summer kitchen and bar facing the pool, the well-equipped dock and the water. 

Miami investors on seller's side of Tarpon Island project in Palm Beach

Among the estate’s other features are a five-car garage and an extensive front motor court for parking. Other amenities include a paneled library/office and an entertainment room with a fireplace, wine storage, billiards area and movie lounge. Upstairs, the primary bedroom has two oversize marble-appointed bathrooms, while a separate wing houses guest bedrooms to supplement the VIP suites in the guesthouse.

Glaser’s investors included Jonathan Fryd of Fryd Properties in Miami and developer Scott Robins of Scott Robins Cos. in Miami Beach. Fryd and Robins have invested in other Glaser-controlled projects in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade County, where the developer built his career before turning his attention to buying, building, renovating and selling homes in Palm Beach over the past several years.

There may have been other investors as well, but if so, Glaser has never identified them to the Palm Beach Daily News. 

Real estate agents Suzanne Frisbie of the Corcoran Group and Chris Leavitt of Douglas Elliman Real Estate held the listing. Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate also was involved on the sellers’ side. Frisbie, Leavitt and Angle declined to comment.

Agent Margit Brandt of Premier Estate Properties represented the buyer, the MLS shows. She also declined to comment.

The property had been under contract since the end of March, according to the MLS.

Because no deed for the sale has yet been recorded by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office, it's unclear if the price to be documented at the courthouse will match the one reported in the MLS.

Palm Beach's Tarpon Island had undergone several price-tag changes

The estate had carried its asking price of $187.5 million since November. But that price was down sharply from the $218 million price tag attached to the property while it was being built. The property was relisted at the lower price during the final stages of construction. 

The estate first entered the market in October 2021 — during the height of Palm Beach’s pandemic-induced real estate boom — with a $125 million price tag that included only the land and renovation plans for the original house. At that time the property also was listed at a pre-construction price of $210 million, which would have included the renovated house, before hitting the high of $218 million.

With a second pool and dock, the repurposed guesthouse’s extensive spa area offers a sauna and steam room, a hair-styling salon and staff quarters. The guesthouse nearly abuts the east property line, "so when you are in the gym, you feel like you are on a yacht," Glaser said previously. 

A focal point of the addition to the west is an octagonal room, rising two stories, that overlooks the tennis court on the far west side of the property. The room can be used for formal dining or as a tennis-viewing pavilion.

Tarpon Island looks down the waterway toward Trump's Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach

Windows, patios, loggias, terraces and the dock on the south side of the house afford views straight down the Intracoastal Waterway for a little more than a mile to the Southern Boulevard Bridge, past former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. The views also include houses on Everglades Island to the west and in Palm Beach’s Estate Section to the east. 

Architect Roger Janssen of Dailey Janssen Architects drew up the plans for the Tarpon Island project. Christopher Cawley Landscape Architecture designed the grounds. The interior finishes were chosen by Glaser's wife, interior decorator Kim Glaser.

In the $170-million all-time record-setting sale on North County Road, car dealer Michael Cantanucci and his wife, Kimberly, bought the property from coffee mogul Robert Stiller and his wife, Christine. Angle represented the Cantanuccis, negotiating opposite broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates.

The Palm Beach Daily News was unable to confirm if any agents were involved in the $155 million sale of 1495 N. Ocean Blvd.

When Tarpon Island last changed hands in July 2021, the house there had five bedrooms and 12,321 square feet, property records show. The lead agents in that sale were Frisbie, acting for Glaser's group, and agent Jim McCann of Premier Estate Properties, who represented the Tolls. The Tolls had paid a recorded $7.6 million for Tarpon Island in 1998, property records show.

Tarpon Island developer's primary home is in Palm Beach

“This is the most exciting piece of real estate I’ve ever bought and will be able to develop, other than the (historic) Carl Fisher estate in Miami Beach, which I bought in 2005,” Todd Glaser told the Palm Beach Daily News when his group bought Tarpon Island.

Glaser has bought and sold a number of houses in Palm Beach since 2017 — some he renovated and others he built on speculation, often with financing from investors. He and his wife own a landmarked house they renovated in the Estate Section at 125 Via Del Lago , which they have homesteaded as their primary residence in the latest tax rolls. He recently sold a Palm Beach office building that he had used as his family office at 125 Bradley Place.

Glaser made national headlines in 2021 when he bought and razed the former Palm Beach home of the late sex offender and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. That same year, he sold that Estate Section lot vacant for a recorded $25.85 million . A new house is nearing completion on the property, which can easily be seen from Tarpon Island. 

The original house on Tarpon Island was completed in December 1939, according to architectural historian Augustus Mayhew. Tarpon Island itself was created by dredging crews in the 1930s. 

Before Glaser broke ground at 10 Tarpon Isle, Frisbie described the project as his “next masterpiece” and said it was “artfully conceived and beautifully embraces Tarpon Island’s iconic history. How often do we get to say ‘once in a lifetime’ and ‘one of a kind’ in the same sentence? This is it.” 

This is a developing story. Check back for any updates. Portions of the story appeared previously in the Palm Beach Daily News.

Darrell Hofheinz is a USA TODAY Network of Florida journalist who writes about Palm Beach real estate in his weekly “Beyond the Hedges” column. He welcomes tips about real estate news on the island. Email [email protected], call 561-820-3831 or tweet @PBDN_Hofheinz .

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Boris Johnson pictured with Alexander Temerko, who has given more than £1.3m to the Conservative party.

Moscow-on-Thames: Soviet-born billionaires and their ties to UK's political elite

How party donations, sports teams and lavish London residences have granted access to highest echelons of public life

B usinesspeople born in the Soviet Union play a significant role in British business and politics. Some have given money to political parties. Others have made substantial investments in media and industry. All have homes in London, with several visiting regularly from Moscow.

Following a week in which Russia and its links to the UK have been in the news, the Guardian has looked into the impact of Soviet-born men and women on recent UK public life.

Lobbying and the media

Alexander Lebedev bought the loss-making Evening Standard newspaper in 2009, installing his son Evgeny as proprietor. Lebedev later acquired the Independent and launched a successful spinoff version, the i. The Standard office is around the corner from where Lebedev worked in the 1980s as an undercover spy based at the Soviet embassy.

As he recounts in his memoir , Hunt the Banker, the KGB approached Lebedev in his final year at university in Moscow. He learned espionage at the Red Banner Institute and joined the KGB’s prestigious first directorate, specialising in foreign intelligence work. After the USSR’s collapse, Lebedev went into banking and the media.

Alexander Lebedev, left, and his son Evgeny, right, with the former chancellor George Osborne.

Lebedev funded Russia’s independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper. In 2016, however, he wrote a column in the Evening Standard defending Vladimir Putin after the Russian president’s close friend Sergei Roldugin appeared in the Panama Papers. Lebedev supported Russia’s takeover of Crimea and held a conference there in 2017 to counter what he said was western media “bias”. Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova went to his Moscow book launch.

In recent years, Lebedev has come under scrutiny over his close personal ties with Boris Johnson.

In spring 2018, Johnson flew to the Lebedevs’ villa in Perugia, Italy. The then foreign secretary left his security detail behind and was spotted at the airport on his way home, dishevelled and hungover . Johnson attended Lebedev’s 60th birthday party the day after winning December’s general election. David Cameron and then Evening Standard editor George Osborne were guests too.

Meanwhile, Lebedev’s billionaire Moscow contemporary Alexander Mamut bought the bookshop chain Waterstones in 2011 for £53.5m. Mamut introduced a Russian-language section to its store in Piccadilly Circus, central London. His then teenage son was educated at a leading British private school.

Mamut owns extensive media assets in Russia, including the news website . In 2014, he fired its editor, Galina Timchenko , after she published an interview with a Ukrainian nationalist. Mamut replaced her with a pro-Kremlin journalist. In 2018, he sold a majority stake in Waterstones to a hedge fund.

The PR executive and former Ulster Unionist MP David Burnside has introduced several prominent Kremlin figures to senior Conservatives . His communications firm, New Century Media, founded a Positive Russia foundation to improve Moscow’s image in the UK. One of Burnside’s employees is Alex Nekrassov, whose late father Alexander was a Kremlin adviser and hardline Putin apologist.

Vasily Shestakov.

In 2012, Burnside took a Russian embassy diplomat, Sergei Nalobin , to a Conservative party fundraising dinner. Nalobin, the son of a senior officer in the FSB, the successor to the KGB, founded the Conservative Friends of Russia, a parliamentary group. Its 2012 launch party took place in the Russian ambassador’s Kensington garden. John Whittingdale MP and Carrie Symonds, then a young Tory party worker and now Johnson’s fiancee, were among the guests. Raffle prizes included a biography of Putin and bottles of vodka.

The following year, Burnside invited Vasily Shestakov , an influential MP in Russia ’s Duma, to the same Tory fundraising dinner. He introduced him to the prime minister, David Cameron. Shestakov is an old friend of Putin’s and with him co-authored several books, including Learn Judo With Vladimir Putin and Judo: History, Theory, Practice.

The Conservatives have received more than £3m from wealthy Soviet-born donors – all of whom can legally give money to the party as British citizens. They include Alexander Temerko , a former Russian junior defence minister, and Lubov Chernukhin , a financier whose husband Vladimir served in Putin’s cabinet as deputy finance minister.

Alexander Temerko said he was “no friend” of Vladimir Putin.

Temerko has funded the constituency associations of several leading Tory MPs, including the business secretary, Alok Sharma, and Mark Pritchard. Pritchard sits on parliament’s intelligence and security committee (ISC), which on Tuesday published its long-awaited Russia report. The Scottish National party has called on Pritchard to resign from the committee or give the money back.

In an interview with the Guardian, Temerko said he was “no friend” of Putin’s, whom he called an “enemy of democracy”. He said he had zero intention of going to Russia. Temerko has given more than £1.3m to the Conservative party. He would not be drawn on whether the Kremlin had interfered in the EU referendum vote in support of Leave, but said that he opposed Brexit.

An investigation by Reuters , based on conversations with Temerko, alleges that he supported Johnson’s campaign to take Britain out of the EU – at least initially. It said the industrialist had funded some of Johnson’s key allies in parliament, including James Wharton, who ran Johnson’s successful prime ministerial campaign. Johnson and Temerko were close, sharing bottles of wine and sometimes calling each other “Sasha”, it added .

Lubov Chernukhin (fourth from right, next to Theresa May) paid £135,000 to attend a dinner last year with senior female Conservatives at the Goring hotel in central London.

In contrast to Temerko, Chernukhin keeps a low public profile. The former banker turns down interview requests and has not publicly explained why she has given the Conservative party more than £1.7m. Born in the Soviet Union, Chernukhin is the biggest female donor in British political history and one of the Tories’ most important cash supporters.

Her largesse seems directed at whoever is the Conservative leader. In 2014, she paid £160,000 at a Tory fundraiser to play tennis with Cameron and Johnson, then the PM and London mayor. She paid £135,000 in April 2019 for a dinner at the luxury Goring hotel with Theresa May, also then the PM, and several female cabinet members.

Other donations have flowed to Brandon Lewis, the former Tory party chairman. He has received £24,500, according to Electoral Commission filings. He defended the donations in media interviews on Thursday. Cash has also gone to Theresa Villiers, who sits on the ISC. In February, Chernukhin spent £45,000 on another game of tennis with Johnson and Ben Elliot, the Tories’ co-chair. The SNP is calling on Villiers to return the money.

Chernukhin’s husband served as a Russian minister in 2000, during Putin’s first presidential term. He was chairman of Vnesheconombank (VEB), a bank and state corporation with reported close ties to the Kremlin security establishment. He later left Moscow and became a British citizen in 2011. The couple have an £8m London mansion, owned by an offshore trust, a jet and two yachts.

Theresa Villiers.

Another prominent figure is Andrei Borodin, the former president of the Bank of Moscow. In 2013, Borodin attended the Conservatives’ summer ball with his wife Tatiana Korsakova, a model, four months after receiving political asylum. He spent £40,000 on a portrait of Margaret Thatcher .

The payment was made by Henley Concierge, a firm registered to a cottage on Borodin’s £120m country estate near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Borodin said he did not discuss party policy at the event, nor make a donation. Russian authorities have accused him of a massive fraud. Borodin denies this and says he’s the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt.

Business and property

Super-wealthy businessmen from former Soviet countries also control a dizzying array of UK assets spanning football clubs, oil and gas and multimillion-pound mansions. Their financial clout affords members of this select group considerable influence and access to Britain’s professional and ruling classes.

Perhaps the most high-profile London-based oligarch, thanks to his £140m purchase of Chelsea Football Club in 2003, is Roman Abramovich. The Israeli-Russian billionaire has limited UK business interests outside football, but his extensive property portfolio includes a 15-bedroom mansion in London’s prestigious Kensington Palace Gardens, bought for £90m in 2011.

Roman Abramovich pictured in the stands at Stamford Bridge in 2017 - the last year Chelsea won the Premier League.

The Chelsea owner’s wealth is derived partly from proceeds from the controversial privatisation of the oil giant Sibneft after the fall of the Soviet Union. When Sibneft needed an international communications chief it turned to Greg Barker, who would go on to become Conservative energy minister under David Cameron.

Lord Barker of Battle, as he has been known since his elevation to the House of Lords, has also worked for another Russian businessman with the ear of Britain’s powerful elite, Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska attracted public attention in 2008 over claims that he discussed making a donation to the Tories with George Osborne, during a meeting held aboard his yacht in the Mediterranean.

In 2017, Deripaska listed his En+ energy and metals group on the London Stock Exchange and turned to Lord Barker to serve as its chairman. The Tory peer received a bonus of $4m (£3.14m) after helping Deripaska get the company removed from a list of firms hit by US sanctions.

Greg Barker, a former Conservative minister, has worked for the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Barker and Deripaska are not the only peer and oligarch double-act on the UK business scene. The legendary oil dealmaker and former BP boss Lord Browne is executive chair of billionaire Mikhaeil Fridman’s Letter One Energy group, which has a one-third stake in the oil and gas company Wintershall DEA.

Fridman and Browne enjoy a longstanding business relationship that includes the foundation of TNK-BP, a joint venture involving British oil supermajor BP and a group of three billionaires, including Fridman, under the banner AAR. The relationship between BP and AAR often proved acrimonious and TNK-BP boss Bob Dudley was at one stage forced to flee the country fearing for his safety. After a power struggle, AAR eventually sold its half in the venture to Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft. That deal left BP with a near-20% stake in the Kremlin-backed company, making cordial Russian relations vital for BP. Rival Shell also has interests in Russia via the huge Sakhalin-2 offshore gas project.

Len Blavatnik pictured in 2012.

One of the other billionaires behind AAR, Sir Leonard (Len) Blavatnik, also wields significant influence in the UK. Blavatnik was born in Odessa, in Soviet Ukraine, but has renounced Russian citizenship and is a dual US-UK citizen. Blavatnik has amassed a vast business empire, including Warner Music. He endowed Oxford University by spending £75m to found the Blavatnik School of Government. He also sponsors the Baillie Gifford literature prize and is the main benefactor of multiple London museums and art galleries. Like Abramovich, he owns a mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens, a property that has been valued at up to £200m.

But that pales in comparison to the estimated price tag on Witanhurst, often referred to as Britain’s most expensive home. The mansion in London’s upmarket Highgate was bought for £50m in 2008 by the family of the Russian fertiliser baron Andrey Guryev , through an offshore company called Safran Holdings, located in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands . It has been valued at more than £300m after extensive refurbishment.

A few miles across north London lies Arsenal Football Club, in which the Uzbek-born Russian metals, mining and publishing billionaire Alisher Usmanov was a long-time shareholder – even at one time considering a full takeover. Ultimately he sold his shares for £550m in 2018 to the US sports tycoon Stan Kroenke.

One of London’s most successful Russian businessmen is Andrey Andreev. He has made a fortune of close to £1bn by founding dating apps, including the female-focused Bumble and Badoo.

  • Alexander Lebedev
  • Evgeny Lebedev
  • Oleg Deripaska
  • Conservatives
  • Party funding

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