It’s a particular squatter action, a YouTube video uploaded over the weekend to testify to this: 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 Hafner. According to his own statements, he, together with Belarusian activist Sergei Savelyev, occupied the villa of Putin’s former son-in-law in Biarritz. They occupied the building to receive Ukrainian refugees, Hafner writes on Facebook,
In the video, which is intended to serve as evidence of action, photo and video snippets from the villa are edited together. Over and over again a man, possibly Savelyev, can be seen waving the Ukrainian flag – sometimes in front of the luxurious house, sometimes in the bedroom, sometimes on the balcony.
It is said that the villa in which all this happens belongs to Kirill Shamalov. The Russian oligarch is the ex-husband of Putin’s younger daughter, Katerina Tikhonova. independent russian online magazine Insider Explained to Hafner, He found a copy of Shamalov’s passport and a translation of the Moscow electricity bill in the villa.,
The workers of Biarritz are not alone in looking for villas of the elite class. In London, several pro-Ukrainian activists took over a property near the Embassy District in London that belonged to Putin’s confidante Oleg Deripaska. Photos show several people on a balcony holding banners that read, among other things, “This property has been freed.”
London mayor calls elite homes ‘golden bricks’
Even British politicians are not against housing Ukrainian refugees in Russian elite properties. It is an act of “poetic justice”, London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the broadcaster times radio, A vast majority of apartments in London would be vacant anyway. The Labor politician believes that many of the properties owned by the Russian super-rich were bought to launder money rather than actually live. These are not apartments, but “golden bricks” according to Khan. “I think the government should confiscate them and use them to house Ukrainians before they can be sold.” According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, the British government is indeed considering such plans.
On the other hand, the activists of Biarritz had to evacuate the villa before their action could actually begin. Hafner posted a selfie on his Facebook page in front of a police station. He was arrested, he writes. The Office of the Responsible Public Prosecutor confirmed to SZ that three people had been arrested on Monday and that a trespassing investigation had been launched. The activists have since been released from police custody. Because it was only a question of trespass, he would not be prosecuted further, but only instructed.
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