Activists occupy luxury Biarritz villa owned by Putin’s ex-son-in-law

Two Russian activists have broken into and occupied a luxury villa in Biarritz owned by Vladimir Putin’s former son-in-law.

Pierre Haffner, of the Svoboda Liberté Association, whose blog appears on the Mediapart news website, and Sergey Saveliev entered the eight-bedroom Alta Mira property in the French coastal resort, popular with Russian oligarchs. They announced on social media that they had changed the locks and would offer it to house Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war.

The property is said to belong to Kirill Shamalov, a Russian billionaire and former husband of Putin’s younger daughter Katerina Tikhonova. Haffner and Saveliev claimed to have found one of Shamalov’s passports and a translation of a Moscow electricity bill.

A photograph posted on social media shows one of the activists on an upper-floor balcony with a Ukrainian flag.

Haffner, who said he was renaming the property “Villa Ukraine”, said he would ask human rights activists and lawyers to ask Biarritz city hall and the police prefecture to use it to house refugees from ボリス・ジョンソンのベン・ジェニングス.

The exiled Russian dissident Vladimir Osechkin, founder of a human rights group that has exposed alleged rape and abuse in Russian prisons and who is on Russia’s most-wanted register, ガーディアンに言った: “The police are now trying to get into the villa to arrest Pierre and Sergey. It’s a difficult situation that needs to be highlighted by journalists and human rights groups.”

On Facebook, Osechkin wrote: "ヨーロッパで, hundreds of villas were bought by Putin’s family and their oligarch accomplices. Their luxurious bourgeois life has come to a logical end, for war crimes and crimes of the regime will have to pay … Now it’s not about glamorous parties and parties in villas. It’s important to be responsible and fair in the 21st century. We continue. Stop the war.”