A Russian billionaire claimed Saturday that he is the real owner of a $1.5 billion Baltic Sea complex allegedly owned by the Russian president. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny published a video a week ago detailing “Putin’s Palace,” which includes a casino, a movie theater, an underground hockey rink, an aquatic disco, and a hookah lounge inside a massive mansion. Vladimir Putin has denied owning the property, and billionaire and close Putin ally Arkady Rotenberg came forward Saturday to say the lavish property is his. The president’s former judo partner told state TV, “I have successfully concluded a deal with some creditors and I became the beneficiary of this site.” Protests have sprung up across Russia in recent weeks in support of Navalny, who was jailed upon returning to his home country. He had been poisoned, and he accuses Putin of ordering the assassination attempt.
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