Putin’s people: Money in the bank and a palace by the sea
In December 2010, a St. Petersburg businessman named Sergey Kolesnikov penned a nifty four-page open letter to then-President Dmitry Medvedev, outlining how a glorious palace built for Vladimir Putin came to be. The details of this seemingly ancient document are now familiar again thanks to a massive investigative report released this week by the opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who survived an attempted assassination last year only to be jailed last weekend after returning home to Moscow.
As Meduza recorded this show, cities across Russia were hours away from planned protests in support of Navalny, who timed his investigation into Putin’s palace to land exactly as the world watches to see how his movement mobilizes against his incarceration.
To learn more about how the Kremlin’s slush funds operate in Russia and abroad, how Vladimir Putin allegedly amassed a fortune in secret, and how the president’s early days in KGB still influence Russian politics, “The Naked Pravda” turned to Catherine Belton, a special correspondent at Reuters and the author of the 2020 book “Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West.”
“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”