Residential buildings in Gelenzhik. Photo: Alina Desyatnicheno for the 'Novaya Gazeta'. Collage prepared by the Caucasian Knot

01 March 2021, 23:31

"Novaya Gazeta" covers contrast between luxury of "Putin's palace" and Gelendzhik life

Residents of Gelendzhik, in the vicinity of which a palace from the Alexei Navalny's investigation is located, have to huddle in illegally built constructions adjacent to garages, and they suffer from poor roads and problems with water supply, the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" reports. More than 3000 people signed a petition to demolish "Putin's palace" drawn up by a local activist.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in January, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF, recognized in the Russian Federation as a foreign agent, – note of the "Caucasian Knot"), released an investigation entitled "A Palace for Putin" on the construction on Cape Idokopas near Gelendzhik of the largest private house in Russia with the area exceeding 17,000 square metres.

The road to the "Sosnovka" beach, located just five kilometres from the centre of Gelendzhik, is blocked by a barrier, because those places have attracted oligarchs and Moscow officials, local residents say. The forests of relict Pitsunda pines and junipers are being set on fire, and the territory is being urbanized then, says Alexei Golubev, the head of the "Yunona" tourist club.

"What are they doing? If they want this place, then [they throw] a match here, and if they want that place, they throw a match there. Everyone loves it very much when they can see vineyards from their windows to the sea. Everyone has the same cliché," Alexei Golubev said as quoted in the Ilya Azar's report "Guilty Without Water", posted today by the "Novaya Gazeta".

A chic palace in the French style "Chateau de Talu" with 101 hectares of vineyards is located between the road to the "Sosnovka" beach and the sea. The "Novaya Gazeta" associated the winery with Alexander Tkachev, the former Governor of the Krasnodar Territory. Next to the above palace, there is a garage-building cooperative where people live in illegal constructions. Tenants of the garage-building cooperative call it "Harlem" and "Mexico". They have to use septic tanks instead of sewerage system, and gas is being supplied to them in cylinders.

Residents of Gelendzhik also note the problem with water supply and roads, some of which still do not have any topping.

Activist Svetlana Terezhol created a petition on the "Change.org" website with the demand to demolish the "Putin's palace", pay a fine to the city, restore the cut-down massif of Pitsunda pines, and return to all Russian citizens the access to walks to the forest and the beach.

By 5:07 p.m. Moscow time on March 1, the petition "We demand to demolish the 'Putin's palace' near Gelendzhik" gained 3670 signatures.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 1, 2021 at 05:07 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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