This video posted to Youtube Jan 29, 2021 purports to be a tour of the "palace" described in The Inside Story of How Alexey Navalny Uncovered Putin's $1.3 Billion Palace.

It is in Russian, but you can set the captions to auto-translate.

Edit: The opulent interior shots around 50 seconds are "visuals based on descriptions and photos" from Navalny, as described in the article.

Is it a real recent video of the alleged "Putin's Palace" (showing the interior as a bare concrete shell under construction/renovation)?

Wikipedia shows these images (Date 18 January 2011) of the interior: enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here
while the video shows rough concrete, under construction.

  • 1
    Are you asking whether the video is from the building on the Black Sea coast near Gelendzhik? Or whether it belongs to Putin? Note that the BBC has described the Mash Telegram channel as pro-Putin.
    – Henry
    Jan 31, 2021 at 22:59
  • @Henry Whether it is the building. Jan 31, 2021 at 23:45
  • I looked at the video briefly and it appears to be CGI, highly sophisticated, very realistic but the interior shots are too perfect. Does the video mention anything about this. Does it say the interior of the palace shown is a simulation?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 1, 2021 at 11:27
  • A recent news story said the real owner came forward (not Putin). He said the place is under renovation, and it will soon open as a hotel.
    – GEdgar
    Feb 1, 2021 at 13:08
  • 6
    Anyone trying to assess this should be addressing the fact that this is a pr-opaganda stunt struggle – from both sides. And that the building itself was not "uncovered" by anyone now, but already made the news in 2011. Feb 1, 2021 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


This video is a response to a recent investigation by Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). The investigation itself could be found on youtube and it has a text version at https://palace.navalny.com/.

Both initial investigation and video in question come from politically biased sources - FBK is widely known as a political organization in opposition with the current Russian government. The video in question published by Mash. Mash is mass media with rumored connections to the Russian government (source - former employee leaves after the publication of a video in question, reports that video was heavily influenced by "men in suits"). Obviously, the video in question and original investigation has some contradictory claims, and there are no reliable sources to confirm one claim or another.

However, there are some claims that both the sources agree on - regardless of political affiliations.

  1. There is indeed an object located at cape Idokopas. There is little doubt that both the original investigation and video in question filmed there - both show the building with the same distinct features. Although they were filmed at different times. Original investigation filmed during summer 2020 with a drone. The video in question filmed in January 2021. This time difference easily explains any difference. Note that the original investigation contains no footage inside of the building - only rendered footage of the artist's interpretation based on furniture catalogs, building architecture and construction plans.

  2. Both the original investigation and video in question claim that the building at the moment is under construction and uninhabited. The original investigation claims that "There is mold in the palace", and there are plans to do a renovation. The video in question confirms that the renovation is ongoing.

  3. Both the original investigation and video in question claim that the property is not owned directly by Putin. The original investigation claims that the property has nominal owners. The video in question claims that the property owned by some unnamed Russian businessmen (later it was confirmed that the owner is Arkady Rotenberg, and he bought the palace around 2019). So both sources confirm the assumption that the object has an affiliation with Putin (It is a common claim that Arkady Rotenberg is Putin's friend since childhood).

So to sum up, there is nothing contradictory in the claim that the video in question is indeed a real recent video of alleged "Putin's Palace". The photos attached in the question are either dated around 2011 or rendered depictions.

However, the video in question has no additional information on substantive claims in the original investigation and alleged controversy - about initial real non-nominal owners, alleged corruption during initial construction, sources of funding, the no-fly zone, or alleged state-run security perimeter.

  • " renovation" Elsewhere I read that the builder ran out of money and left it unfinished (like its present state) for years. Do we know if it was ever finished inside (and then completely torn out)? Feb 4, 2021 at 3:46
  • @KeithMcClary, I haven't seen any sources claim that builders "run out of money". And likely we would never get any confirmation on that. Feb 4, 2021 at 12:26
  • @KeithMcClary, We do know, that it was in some kind of finished state - like there are photos of the place - like the ones attached in the question (1st and 3 photos. 2d is a render). Navalny's assumption was that the place become public so Putin canceled all his plans related to the palace. Ofical story - Arkady Rotenberg bought the palace around 2019 and plans to rebuild it as an apart-hotel. Which is completely feasible and does not contradict initial allegations. Feb 4, 2021 at 12:32
  • "(1st and 3 photos. 2d is a render)" I'd be interested in how you know which are genuine (and of that building). Wikipedia implies they are all genuine, gives source RuLeaks, elsewhere described as "a WikiLeaks type site owned and operated by the Russian Pirate Party". I should ask another Question. BTW, this January 29, 2021 Meduza article implies the interior finish was cheap and that most of the $ went into the 16 level underground bunker, an expensive short-cut to the beach. Feb 4, 2021 at 20:57

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