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Kremlin Spokesman Linked To $7.1 Million House In Latest Navalny Exposé

  • Mike Eckel

A blog post by anticorruption blogger Aleksei navalny claims that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov lives in a multimillion-dollar home purchased by his then wife-to-be Tatiana Navka earlier this year.

A blog post by anticorruption blogger Aleksei navalny claims that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov lives in a multimillion-dollar home purchased by his then wife-to-be Tatiana Navka earlier this year.

First, it was the watch.

The Kremlin's chief spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was raked over the coals earlier this year by opposition activists after one of his wedding pictures showed him sporting a wristwatch allegedly worth some $600,000.

Then came the yacht, a Maltese-flagged vessel available for 350,000 euros per week that Kremlin opponents claim Peskov used for his honeymoon, stoking yet more questions about whether Russian officials use their positions to enrich themselves illicitly.

Now come reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin's longtime spokesman lives in an 8,400-square-foot house, worth an estimated $7.1 million, in an elite district on Moscow's western outskirts.

In a September 17 blog post, Russian opposition leader and anticorruption crusader Aleksei Navalny published photographs of the luxury home and property records showing that it was purchased earlier this year by Peskov's then wife-to-be, Olympic figure-skating champion Tatiana Navka.

Navalny, who first published the exposés that drove the outcry over Peskov's watch and alleged yacht honeymoon, suggested Navka may have bought the home with funds illegally acquired by the Kremlin spokesman, whose official stated income last year totaled around $137,000.

Navalny called this "the favorite scheme of government bureaucrats."

"First the [bureaucrat] buys expensive real estate in his fiancée's name, and after the wedding you can confidently live in that home, saying: 'Well, my wife bought it before the wedding,'" Navalny wrote.

Peskov could not be immediately reached for comment and has not responded publicly to the allegation. Reached by the Moscow radio station Govorit Moskva, Navka also refused to comment, calling Navalny a "maniac."

Navalny and his allies tracked down the home using data embedded in photographs -- known as geo-tags -- sent from an Instagram account used by Peskov's daughter. Using this information, they said they were able to pinpoint where the photographs were posted from.

They then dug up government real estate records that matched the property. The documents, which Navalny published on his blog, show that Navka bought the house in January.

Navalny said the value of the property was calculated using real estate listings for nearby properties, then by figuring the per-unit cost of the land and using an average valuation of other houses in the district.

The luxury dwelling in an elite Moscow neighborhood where Dmitry Peskov and his wife now allegedly reside.

The luxury dwelling in an elite Moscow neighborhood where Dmitry Peskov and his wife now allegedly reside.

​In his trademark sneering commentary, Navalny also quoted remarks Peskov made in April about the importance of fighting corruption.

"But so what? Is it really possible for a bureaucrat so irreconcilably connected to corruption to have to live in a common apartment?" he wrote.

Navalny, a bete noire of the Kremlin, has fueled his political ambitions with exposés of bureaucratic cronyism and political activism, famously dubbing Putin's ruling United Russian party the "party of swindlers and thieves."

A leader of antigovernment protests in 2011-12, he has rallied thousands in the streets of Moscow but is currently serving two suspended sentences on theft and embezzlement convictions. He denies wrongdoing and says the cases against him are politically motivated.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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