Luxury country home being built for Putin in annexed Crimea
In Crimea, between the towns of Foros and Yalta, construction work is underway on state dachas (“country homes”) number 6 and 8, which are now called “Putin’s dachas”, the Russian news outlet Proekt reports.
According to the Russian journalists, over the last few years, a six-meter stone wall has been erected around the dachas, with surveillance cameras, and the area on Crimea’s southern coast where the cottages are situated is guarded by armed men.
The most unusual object in the area is a structure which the inhabitants of the neighboring village of Olyva call the “ice palace”. The fact that an ice rink is being built there is confirmed by the construction documents, which describe it as “covered hockey area No. 65” on “object K-117”.
The journalists observe that in the last three years, based on data from Russia’s state procurements portal, swimming pools, saunas and spa basins have been built in the area, as well as a dormitory for up to 60 staff members and landslide protection. Tatami mats were made in the summer.
The builders believe that the dacha will serve as a holiday home for Russian President Vladimir Putin. An employee familiar with the construction schedule said that the tatami mats were made in a hurry at the start of August 2019, when Putin visited annexed Crimea.
State dachas numbers 9 and 10 are situated close to numbers 6 and 8, and are believed to be intended for Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was seen there several times in 2014, the news outlet writes.
As reported previously, Putin visited annexed Crimea in August to attend a festival. During the event, Putin rode in the sidecar of an Ural motorcycle driven by Sergey Aksyonov, head of the Crimean administration.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.