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Vladimir Putin has built himself a £1billion palace replete with private lap-dancing den and casino, it has been reported.
Leaked pictures of the vast interior appear to show a red velvet pole dancing boudoir built reportedly for exclusive use of the Russian President and his allies.
The Sun reports that opposition leader Alexei Navalny published details on his website with a scathing attack on Putin, accusing him of using cash from his people to build the retreat.
The opulent palace is said to have been built in secret near Gelendzhik on the Black Sea coast on the Praskoveevka Estate.
The palace is reported to have been built in secret
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Navalny claims to have been given exclusive access to secret plans for the palace with the help of contractors paid to refurbish it.
In a video recorded before his arrest he said: “This is not a country house, not a cottage, not a residence. It’s a whole city, or rather a kingdom.
"The palace seems to have a striptease bar for Vlad to enjoy pole-dancing.
“Leaving the theatre, our (investigator) finds himself in a lobby with a bar. And on the right is the door and the most controversial room in Putin's palace.
“There is not a single window, but for some reason there is a stage, a dressing room, spotlights, and on the plan something very similar to a pole is noted.
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“We thought for a long time what it could be. Perhaps a giant shawarma is prepared here. Or firefighters are training.”
Navalny was detained at a Moscow airport on Sunday after flying home for the first time since he was poisoned last summer.
In a video posted on YouTube he urged Russians to take to the streets in protest at his treatment after a judge ordered he be remanded in pre-trial detention for 30 days.
Russian officials claimed he had violated the terms of a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence for fraud by failing to report to a probation office – despite the fact that he was fighting for his life after being poisoned.
A private lap dancing stage
Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia
(Image: via REUTERS)
Navalny has called on Russians to come out on the streets as a protest.
The United Nations and Western nations told Russia to immediately free the opposition politician and some countries called for new sanctions.
The jailed opposition leader – who may now face other legal action – called via his London-based ally Vladimir Ashurkov, for the West to take sanctions against Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC, and a number of other Russian figures including ex-Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov.
The United Nations and Western nations told Russia to immediately free the opposition politician
Navalny has returned to Russia to challenge Putin's iron grip
(Image: via REUTERS)
Abramovich was "one of the key enablers and beneficiaries of Russian kleptocracy, with significant ties and assets in the West”, said Ashurkov.
“Shortly before Alexei flew back to Russia, we had a discussion about why sanctions aren’t working. He said that sanctions aren’t working because the West has refrained from sanctioning the people with the money.
“It is not enough to sanction the operatives who just follow orders in arresting and assassinating dissidents.
“The West must sanction the decision makers and the people who hold their money. Nothing less will make an impact on the behaviour of the Russian authorities.”