Inside 'Putin's Palace'

A drone photo of the palace, which sits some 18 kilometers down the coast from the popular Russian holiday town of Gelendzhik

According to anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny, the facility and a vast swath of land surrounding it are registered to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), which claims to be using the land for "research and educational activities." 


Navalny claims this grassy mound, next to the property's helicopter landing pads, conceals an ice hockey rink

Navalny says he is in possession of leaked construction plans for the property. In the construction blueprint, this feature is labeled an "aqua discotheque."

An amphitheater undergoing renovation on the sprawling coastal residence. The property has been under construction for the past 15 years and major renovations are still ongoing. 

An aerial view shows the alleged hockey rink (bottom left) next to two helipads. The buildings on the curved road in the foreground are believed to be for the scores of construction workers who were visible in drone footage captured by Navalny's team. 

A green-tiled church is located on the property, which Navalny claims is "the most secret and closely guarded facility in Russia." 

An alleged greenhouse on the palace grounds

Along with a no-fly zone over the facility, boats sailing past the palace are required to maintain a distance of at least one nautical mile (1.8 kilometers). 

Ten kilometers down the coast from the palace is this vineyard, with a sprawling chateau allegedly owned by people with close links to Putin. 

Vast rows of grapevines grow at the winery. The chateau can be seen on the left in this picture. Wine from this vineyard is served at many official Kremlin functions. 

As well as drone photographs of these Black Sea properties, Navalny's team created several digital illustrations of the interior of the palatial residence, such as this one. The illustrations are based on the leaked plans of the building and records of Italian furniture that have been ordered for the property. 

This is a digital rendering of a theater shown in the building plans. Navalny acknowledges that some details of the renderings of the palace and its rooms may differ from reality. 

A digital rendering of the seating at the palace theater

The rendering of this interior is based on photographs taken inside the residence by workers during its construction. 

A rendering of a marble-lined bar in the palace. Much of the furniture was reportedly sourced from luxury Italian brands, which are so exclusive that their catalogues must be personally ordered by potential clients. 

This rendering is of a room in the palace that allegedly features a dancing pole. 

A digital rendering of a casino that is featured in the plans of the palace

A rendering of a room alleged to be used by Putin himself. Gymnastic equipment at the far left of the digital image is an apparent reference to Alina Kabayeva, a gold-medal gymnast widely believed to be Putin's partner. 

Nine kilometers north of the main facility this second, newer vineyard has been built, and was photographed by the investigative team with a drone. In December 2017, a local environmentalist was severely beaten by unknown men after investigating an illegal forest clearance during the vineyard's construction. 

Near the second vineyard stands an Orthodox church that was allegedly imported, brick by brick, from Greece.

In response to the allegations that the vast properties were built for Putin on the Black Sea coast, his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, claimed not to know about Navalny's investigation. But Peskov told Russian media: "I can immediately say that this is an old record. We explained many years ago that Putin does not have any palace in Gelendzhik."