Lewis Goodall 6pm - 9pm
Inside Putin's secret mansion hidden deep in Russian forests, complete with '£8,000 bidets and a stolen waterfall'
31 January 2024, 07:06 | Updated: 31 January 2024, 07:24
A hidden mansion said to belong to Russian president Vladimir Putin has been revealed, featuring a 'stolen' waterfall and its own brewery.
Listen to this article
The house is set amid the remote forests of the Karelia region of northern Russia, close to the border with Finland.
It was filmed using a drone by the Dossier Centre, an investigative non-profit organisation founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oligarch turned arch-critic of Putin.
Putin's mansion is on the shores of Lake Ladoga, which is supposed to form part of a national park - but his estate has been sectioned off. The "stolen" waterfall on the site should be available for anyone to visit, but is surrounded by barbed wire.
The four square kilometre estate has three properties called The Barn, The Fisherman’s Hut and The Garden House.
Full video in Russian with English subtitles
Секретная дача Путина в Карелии / Расследование центра «Досье»
It also features a bathhouse on the waterfront with the lake, a cowshed for producing beef, yachting piers, a bathhouse, and two helipads.
An on-site Austrian brewing facility worth £300,000 can produce as many as 82 pints of beer a day.
Previous reporting claimed that the house has an Italian marble floor costing £85,000, bidets worth £8,000 each and shower heads worth £3,500.
According to a reporter for the group, locals say that Putin visits at least once a year, going first to a nearby monastery and then onto his mansion, which was built for him by his friends more than a decade ago.
"Vladimir Putin loves the Russian north, the reporter said. "He is not even bothered by the proximity to unfriendly Finland, just 30 kilometres away."
The house has been known about since 2016, but this is said to be the first time it has been filmed.
The reporter added that "It is hard to reach, surrounded by round-the-clock security and special forces personnel." Reporters also believe that Putin could have had an air defence system installed for the mansion, judging by vehicle tracks.
The previous owners of the land were removed "in the traditional way" with help from local officials and friends.
Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire former Chelsea owner, has a property only a few miles away, which was built in 2020. Abramovich's mansion comes with a restaurant, bathhouse, helicopter pad and pier.
It is unclear how the drone pilot gained access to the estate, whose owner is listed as Yury Kovalchuk, a close associate of Putin.
The Russian president has very few assets listed in his own name, among them a small flat in Moscow. His official salary is about £110,000 per year.