Putin has escaped to his secret palace in a forest amid anti-draft protests in Russian cities, report says




  • In World
  • 2022-09-25 11:10:40Z
  • By Business Insider
Putin, and his purported palace
Putin, and his purported palace  
  • Vladimir Putin has escaped to his secret palace amid anti-draft protests in Russia, per a report.

  • OVD-Info said 724 people were detained across 32 different cities on Saturday.

  • Putin intends to stay at the palace until at least Thursday, a journalist said, citing three sources.

Russian President Vladimir Putin escaped to his secret palace near Gelendzhik, about halfway between Moscow and St Petersburg, amid anti-draft protests in Russia, MailOnline was first to report.

According to independent journalist Farida Rusamova, who cited three sources familiar with Putin's schedule, the Russian president traveled to his vacation home on Wednesday.

He has been resting his "body and soul" there, Rusamova said in a Telegram post, enjoying the facilities of the palace, which Putin publicly denies belongs to him.

Putin palace images
Putin palace images  

Allies of the imprisoned Russian activist Alexei Navalny have published hundreds of photos of what they say is the inside of the luxurious building. In a statement last year, Navalny said the palace and grounds had security fences, a port, a church, a no-fly zone, a wine cave, a theater, a gym, a pool, a spa, an "aqua disco," and an ice-hockey rink.

Putin palace images
Putin palace images  

The Anti-Corruption Foundation alleges that it was funded through a scheme in which Putin's inner circle paid the president for access and influence. The Kremlin denies this.

Putin palace black sea FBK
Putin palace black sea FBK  

Rusamova claimed that Putin intends to stay at the palace until at least next Thursday. The journalist also claimed that the president had pre-recorded several videos of meetings, which Russian state media intends to release sporadically throughout the week, to try and mask his absence from the public.

Rusamova said that Putin left for his palace the day a video was released, showing him announcing partial military mobilization on Wednesday.

Widespread protests broke out across Russia after Putin announced that 300,000 reservists would be ordered to fight in the country's war on Ukraine.

Moscow anti-war protest
Moscow anti-war protest  

Hundreds of Russians, including girls as young as 14 years old, have been arrested while participating in the unsanctioned rallies, banned under Russian law, according to reports. OVD-Info said 724 people were detained across 32 different cities on Saturday, per BBC News.

The protests have taken place in cities including Moscow, St Petersburg, Tomsk, and Omsk, Sky News reported.

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