Is THIS Putin's secret holiday home...? 'Russian chief's country retreat has a grass roof to hide it from the West's spy satellites, helicopter pad... and even affordable IKEA-style furniture'
- Sprawling complex in northern Russia 'is Putin's secret, holiday bolthole'
- Retreat has a grass roof to hide it from satellites, helicopter pad nearby
- Local says: 'We call it Putin's dacha...he comes here on helicopters'
- But some claim the rural dacha is set aside for Putin's daughter
This sprawling complex hidden deep in the hills of northern Russia is Vladimir Putin's secret holiday home, it is claimed.
Furnished with affordable looking IKEA style furniture, the bolthole comes with a helipad and its roof is covered with grass to hide it from snooping Western spy satellites.
The secret retreat, which is given round-the-clock security, is where Putin is said to stay when he slips out of the public spotlight, as he did in July.
The property, in Karelia, Russia, is built on land belonging to longtime friends of the president from his days as vice-mayor of St Petersberg, it is claimed.
Vladimir Putin is believed to escape to a top secret complex in the hills of northern Russia when he wants to get out of the spotlight. Pictured: The sprawling facility in the Republic of Karelia
The two-building complex, covered in grass, is decorated by what some have claimed is modest IKEA futniture
Putin is thought to have retreated to the holiday home, 14 miles from Valaam island on Lake Ladoga, following a trip to Finland in July. Pictured: Putin at a monastery on Valaam island on July 11
A source gave independent Russian television station Rain TV photos of the property, which were then broadcast to the country.
The station said in its report: 'Our source confirms that the residence was built and designed for Putin. There is a helicopter pod there, two houses - one of them covered with grass and a [lake] dock.
'The interior design is very laconic, Scandinavian style. Expensive fabrics are accompanied by furniture from IKEA,' the report claims.
Nadezhda Gongeleva, former chief editor of local newspaper, Prizyv, added that there is widespread speculation locally that the property is Putin's 'dacha' - or country house.
'Some say it's the dacha of Putin's daughter. Behind the doors of the city council it is described as a "federal object",' he said.
Putin, rumoured to be in a relationship with former Olympic gymnast Alina Kabaeva, vanished from public life for more than a week following a trip to Finland in July.
The Russian TV crew who filmed Putin's alleged secret pad said the grass roof was designed to hide it from the West's spy satellites
The living area is believed to be decorated by 'affordable' Scandinavian-style furniture including green bucket chairs and a cream corner sofa
Some locals in the Republic of Karelia claim the complex - complete with wood paneled walls and floor length, sheer curtains - is owned by his daughter while others gossip that it is 'federal property'
'The interior design is very laconic... Expensive fabrics are accompanied by furniture from IKEA,' the TV rain report claimed
Putin's spokesman refused comment on claims the strongman retreats to this hidden location when he wants to get out of the spotlight and no picture shows him at the complex
During that time his Ilyushin-96 private jet remained grounded in Turku, Finland, for ten days.
Meanwhile Putin is believed to have used a helicopter to fly to his Karelia holiday residence.
His next public appearance came ten days later at a monastery on Valaam island in Lake Ladoga, Russia, 14 miles from the rumoured holiday home.
A local speedboat captain also claimed he knows it to be Putin's home.
The president's spokesman has refused to comment.
The idyllic complex is surrounded by 13km of wire fencing and a notice misleadingly says it's an enclosure for 'the breeding of wild animals such as reindeer, roe deer, and boar'.
'It is known Karelia is where the president goes when he doesn't want the attention from the public,' the TV report added.
A local employee of electricity giant Rosetti said: 'We call it Putin's dacha... He comes here on helicopters.'
He also claims fighter jets patrol the skies when he is staying at the residence.
Putin is believed to have used a helicopter to access his secret residence after a trip to Finland as his Ilyushin-96 private plane remained in Turku
The idyllic complex is surrounded by by 13km (eight miles) of wire fencing and protected by security guards
The complex is past the Ozero dacha estate where Putin and his friends have previously built their holiday homes.
Some of those cronies have gone on to hold key state jobs or become billionaires under his rule.
One of Putin's former neighbours Nikolai Shamalov, a shareholder of Rossiya Bank, also owns a swathe of property in the region.
He is the father of Kiril Shamalov, 34, Russia's youngest billionaire, who is believed to have married Putin's daughter Katerina Tikhonova, 30.
Irina Andrianova, an environmental activist, said: 'This beautiful palace in modern style was built on the shore accompanied, of course, by a fence.'
'The palace is guarded by FSO (Federal Security Service) people. Tourists were told that the "object" is managed by the presidential affairs department.'
Irina Andrianova, an environmental activist, claimed numerous rules were broken in building vast new homes in the lake lands. Pictured: Putin's alleged grass-covered complex
Putin's former neighbours Nikolai Shamalov (left), a shareholder of Rossiya Bank, also owns a swathe of property in the region. Right: his son Kiril
Kiril Shamalov, 34, Russia's youngest billionaire, is believed to have married Putin's daughter Katerina Tikhonova (pictured), 30
A guard told journalists: 'Filming of this object is banned. Please, leave it is private territory.'
Karelia is popular as a summer destination for Russians, with its scented pine forests and fresh Scandinavian-style summer weather with long days and cool light evenings.
Putin is believed to have another 'palace' on the Black Sea in addition to his many official residences.
Although no figure is put on Putin's wealth, he is rumoured to be the world's richest person, worth more than Bill Gates, whose fortune is estimated at £55 billion.
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