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Alexei Navalny details purported Putin palace in sweeping report

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 1/20/2021 Tim Balk
Alexei Navalny looking at the camera: In this image taken from video released by Navalny Life youtube channel, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks as he waits for a court hearing in a police station in Khimki, outside in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. A judge has ordered to remand Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in custody for 30 days, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter. The ruling Monday concluded an hours-long court hearing set up at a police precinct where the politician has been held since his arrest at a Moscow airport Sunday. (Navalny Life youtube channel via AP) © Provided by New York Daily News In this image taken from video released by Navalny Life youtube channel, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks as he waits for a court hearing in a police station in Khimki, outside in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. A judge has ordered to remand Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in custody for 30 days, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter. The ruling Monday concluded an hours-long court hearing set up at a police precinct where the politician has been held since his arrest at a Moscow airport Sunday. (Navalny Life youtube channel via AP)

A team led by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday released a sweeping multi-format probe into a purported secret palace belonging to President Vladimir Putin.

The investigation, published less than a day after Navalny was ordered jailed, underscored Navalny’s ability to pose headaches for Putin even from the confines of prison.

Navalny was detained upon his return to his home country following his high-profile poisoning last year. Navalny grew sick on a flight in August and entered a coma before he was treated at a hospital in Berlin.

He has claimed Putin ordered the poisoning.

Alexei Navalny looking at the camera: Alexei Navalny speaks as he waits for a court hearing on Monday. © Provided by New York Daily News Alexei Navalny speaks as he waits for a court hearing on Monday.

Alexei Navalny speaks as he waits for a court hearing on Monday.

Navalny served as the functional host of a 113-minute, pre-recorded YouTube video published as part of the investigation into the opulent estate allegedly belonging to Putin. A lengthy, colorful text report, complete with floor plans, was also published in coordination with the video.

In the film, Navalny said the investigation was conceived while he was in hospital care, but that that the decision was made to delay release until he returned to Russia to show that he was not afraid — and would not share Putin’s “worst secret” while abroad.

“This man, in his craving for luxury and wealth, has gone completely mad,” Navalny said of Putin in the video.

The investigation said Putin’s palace sits near Gelendzhik, a Russian town on the Black Sea, and has carried costs above $1 billion.

The Kremlin has disputed the report. “There is no palace, he is not an owner of any palace” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for Putin, told CNN.

But Navalny said in the film that the palace has eaten into Russian citizen’s pocketbooks. The video has logged more 30 million views on YouTube, and it urges Russians to rush the streets on Saturday in protest.

Navalny has been detained at Matrosskaya Tishina, a Moscow jail, and faces legal cases he has said are politically motivated.

Tony Blinken, President Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, said Tuesday that is “extraordinary how frightened Vladimir Putin appears to be of one man.”

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