It’s a special squatter, and a YouTube video uploaded over the weekend is meant to testify: a blue and yellow flag flutters on a stately balcony, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background. The video was posted by former French Yellow Vest activist and blogger Pierre Haffner. According to his own statements, together with the Belarusian activist Sergei Savelyev, he occupied the villa of Putin’s ex-son-in-law in Biarritz. They took over the building to receive Ukrainian refugees, Haffner writes on Facebook.
In the video, which is meant to serve as evidence of the event, photos and video excerpts from the villa are edited together. Time and time again, a man, supposedly Savelyev, can be seen waving the Ukrainian flag — sometimes in front of a stately home, sometimes in a bedroom, sometimes on the porch.
It is said that the villa in which all this takes place belongs to Kirill Shamalov. The Russian oligarch is the ex-husband of Putin’s youngest daughter Katerina Tikhonova. Russian independent online magazine insider Hefner explained, He found a copy of Shamalov’s passport and translation of the Moscow electricity bill in the villa.
Activists in Biarritz are not alone in the search for the oligarch’s villa. In London, several pro-Ukraine activists occupied a property near the embassy district in London that was said to be owned by Putin, a confidant of Oleg Deripaska. The photos show several people on a balcony holding signs that read, among other things, “This property has been liberated.”
Mayor of London describes oligarchs’ homes as ‘golden bricks’
Even British politicians are not averse to housing Ukrainian refugees on the estates of Russian oligarchs. London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the broadcaster it was an act of “poetic justice”. Radio Times. A large part of the apartments in London would be empty anyway. The labor politician believes that many of the real estate owned by rich Russians was bought to launder money rather than live in reality. These are not apartments, but “golden stones,” according to Khan. “I think the government should confiscate them and before selling them they should use them to house Ukrainians.” According to a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the British government is already considering such plans.
On the other hand, activists in Biarritz had to evacuate the villa before their work could really begin. Hefner posted a selfie on his Facebook page showing him in front of a police station. He wrote that he was arrested. The responsible public prosecutor’s office confirmed to SZ that three people had been arrested on Monday and investigations into trespassing had begun. The activists have since been released from police custody. Because it is only about trespassing, they will not be sued again, but will only be directed.