One of our Observers for Russia, Ostap Karmodi, alerted us to these photos which are making the rounds on the Russian blogosphere. According to bloggers, this sumptuous abode, currently under construction just north of Moscow, appears to belong to the head of gas giant Gazprom.
This information has not been verified by the France 24 editorial team.
Ostap Karmodi is a Russian freelance journalist who currently lives in Eastern Europe.
The page on which these images were originally published has since been deleted. Thankfully, other bloggers had already reposted them before it went down. Bloggers say that the residence in question is the future home of Alexey Miller, CEO of Gazprom. On one forum, an anonymous contributor says that he himself worked on the construction of the palace, and that it's got 248 rooms in total. But it's hard to verify the details. The bloggers located the building on Google Maps, but said that it was impossible to zoom in on the area... [France 24 has contacted Google to see if the blurring effect in this area followed a request from Gazprom or other Russian authorities. We're currently awaiting a response.]"
Zoom impossible on Google Maps