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UKRAINE

Activists seize French villa belonging to Putin’s daughter

A pair of activists have broken into a luxury villa in Biarritz belonging to Russian President Vladimir Putin's daughter, renaming it 'Villa Ukraine' and offering it to refugees.

Activists seize French villa belonging to Putin's daughter
The villa is in the seaside town of Biarritz. Illustration photo by GAIZKA IROZ / AFP

Two Russian protesters stormed the French villa belonging to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughter on Sunday, hoisting a Ukranian flag and changing the locks. 

A video posted by Pierre Lapurdi, a self described “Russian blogger in exile”, who writes under the pen name Pierre Haffner, provides a glimpse inside the luxury Biarritz building, which he dubbed “the castle of Putin”. 

He has since been arrested according to a post on his social media account. His accomplice, a whistleblower called Sergei Savelyev, is also thought to have been arrested. 

 

An exiled Russian dissident called Vladimir Osechkin called for their release from custody, in a Facebook post.

“These nice people have not done anything wrong. They and we have all proposed using the villas of Russian oligarchs to welcome Ukrainian refugees,” he said. 

“Police must protect the people, not the oligarchs.”

An independent Russian news media called The Insider reported that the activists had found a copy of a passport belonging to Kirill Shamalov, the ex-husband of  Katerina Tikhonova (Putin’s daughter), at the property.

According to French radio station Europe 1 the Putin family owns at least three properties in Biarritz. Close friends and associates of the family, as well as a former Russian spy, have been spotted in the southwestern city in recent years. 

French intelligence services are said to routinely run counter-espionage operations in the city. 

Authorities have seized a number of Russian assets in recent weeks including a €108m yacht moored off the south of France, belonging to an oligarch named Igor Sechin. 

France and the EU have slapped heavy economic sanctions on Russia after it launched an invasion of Ukraine last month. 

Member comments

  1. So it begins. Just what it was like in Germany in the 30s. What next, breaking windows of Russian owned businesses and houses, or are they going to have to wear an emblem showing who they are. All these Governments never learn and are just pandering to the mob.

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UKRAINE

France to build new floating terminal to ensure gas supplies this winter

The French government aims to have its natural gas storage reserves at full capacity by autumn, with European countries bracing for supply cuts from major supplier Russia as the Ukraine war continues, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Thursday

France to build new floating terminal to ensure gas supplies this winter

“We are ensuring the complete filling of our storage capacities, aiming to be close to 100 percent by early autumn,” and France will also build a new floating methane terminal to receive more energy supplies by ship, Borne said.

France is much less dependant on Russian gas than its neighbours, and announced earlier this week that it has not received any Russian gas by pipeline since June 15th.

Meanwhile Germany moved closer to rationing natural gas on Thursday as it raised the alert level under an emergency plan after Russia slashed supplies to the country.

“Gas is now a scarce commodity in Germany,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters at a press conference.

French PM Borne on Thursday also confirmed that the bouclier tarifaire (price shield) will remain in pace until the end of 2022 – this freezes the price of household gas and limits rises in electricity bills for homes to four percent.

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