The tsars would be proud: A Russian businessman has accused Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of building a lavish, $1 billion Italianate palace near the Black Sea. The businessman Sergei Kolesnikov says he was involved in building the palace until he was removed after raising concerns about construction. The eight-million-square-foot palace allegedly includes a vineyard, a movie theater, a casino, an amphitheater, a gym, and a clock tower. Kolesnikov says the palace was built using a state company and is therefore built on “corruption, bribery and theft.” Russian media have reported that Putin and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have at least a dozen estates between them. Putin’s spokesman dismissed the charges.
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