A video investigation by Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny that claims President Vladimir Putin spent illicit funds on an extravagant Black Sea palace has reached more than 86 million people.
The video released by Navalny’s team after he was arrested at the airport on his return to Moscow alleges the palace “39 times the size of Monaco” was paid for “with the largest bribe in history”.
Vladimir Putin, in his first comments since the film’s release which was followed by the nationwide protests, denied the allegation he owns a palace.
Fielding questions from students, he said he didn’t watch the full film but viewed frames selected for him.
“Look, I have not watched this film, there is simply no free time, but I leafed through the video selections that the assistants brought. Nothing shown there as if my property belongs to me or my close relatives, never did,” he told the audience via videoconference.
He also claimed he didn’t some of the people depicted in the video as his close circle.
“Names who are mentioned there, I know some, someone is my friend, someone is a former colleague. Some distant relatives, some acquaintances. There are people shown there which I don’t know at all.”
“Anyway, now it’s just a convenient opportunity, they put everything together and decided to brainwash our citizens with all these materials. And they launched it on the Internet”.
Путин – о фильме про «дворец в Геленджике»: Я не смотрел этого фильма, но листал видеоподборки, которые принесли помощники. Ничего из того, что там указано в качестве моей собственности, ни мне, ни моим близким родственникам не принадлежит и никогда не принадлежало. Ни-ког-да! pic.twitter.com/Cqg8ccNUKK
— Дмитрий Смирнов (@dimsmirnov175) January 25, 2021