A residence on the shore of Lake Ladoga near Saint Petersburg called the “Fisherman's Hut” – and nicknamed “Vladimir Putin's dacha” by the locals – includes facilities worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention the mansion itself, which has a helipad on the roof. The Guardian reveals the details of their joint investigation with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
Having studied thousands of leaked emails sent by two construction companies, among other materials, the journalists reveal that the plot of land holds the following facilities:
· A beer brewery with equipment worth 354,000 euros
· A so-called “cowshed” worth $187 million
· A farm producing marbled beef
The Dozhd independent television channel was the first to expose Putin’s ties to the estate. The channel learned that the residence and the land plot were registered as a business asset of Yuri Kovalchuk, Putin's associate and the majority shareholder at Bank Rossiya.
According to local sources, the road to the estate is blocked with a boom gate and guarded by Federal Guard Service officers whenever VIP guests are invited.
Based on the project documentation, the estate includes two buildings. One of them, “relatively humble”, has a helipad on the roof. The other structure is modestly described as the “Garden House”.
Its decor features semi-precious stones; the floor is tiled with Fior de Bosco marble worth $110,000, and toilets have bidets that cost $10,800 each. The overall cost of the bathroom equipment in each of the house’s six bathrooms is estimated at more than 3 million rubles (~$46,000). Shower handrails alone are 300,000 rubles each. The house features an indoor pool with a decorative waterfall.
The investigators also identified a cattle farm raising Wagyu bulls – a source of marbled beef. In 2018, another structure began to be built on the estate, described as a “cowshed”. However, the investigators found no evidence of cows. The suite is worth around $187 million and has a 200-square-meter lunch area on the ground floor, including a kitchen with barbecue and smoking equipment separated from the dining zone with a glass wall. The second floor holds a beer brewery with Austrian equipment worth 345,000 euros with an output of up to 47 liters of beer daily. In 2021, the construction of another building began. It has two floors and several bedrooms. Presumably, the staff can use the building as a storehouse for fish, meat, and vegetables and as additional kitchen premises.
Previously, Meduza and the OCCPR identified over 80 companies using the email domain LLCInvest.ru and owning palaces, resorts, yachts, private jets, and bank accounts with sizable deposits, some of which are linked to Russian president Vladimir Putin. These companies’ assets amount to at least $4.5 billion, including Putin's palace in Gelendzik. Meduza underlines that the LLC Invest scheme is not necessarily limited to 86 companies. The true scale of this network remains unknown.