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The Insider: Mash editor who visited ‘Putin’s palace’ has links to the presidential administration
Source: The Insider

Maxim Iksanov, the editor-in-chief, director, and co-owner of the Telegram-based news outlet Mash, lives in an apartment building owned by a federal agency under Putin’s jurisdiction, The Insider reported on Friday, January 29.

This comes after Mash released a video of Iksanov visiting the massive residence known as “Putin’s palace,” located near the Black Sea resort town of Gelendzhik.

The building where Iksanov lives belongs to the Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation and is located on Trekhgorny Val Street in Moscow. Its other residents include Deputy State Duma Speaker Alexey Gordeyev, the family of former Presidential Administration head Sergey Ivanov, and the sons of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

According to information The Insider obtained from Russia’s property registry (Rosreestr), Iksanov lives in a 1,485-square-foot apartment, which is registered to his father, former Bolshoi Theater director Takhir Iksanov.

Iskanov also received permission from Putin’s administration to move around Moscow freely, The Insider reports, citing leaked data on digital passes issued during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Insider attempted to contact Iksanov but he didn’t answer their calls. He also didn’t respond to messages asking if he is a current or former employee of the presidential administration.

The Kremlin-aligned news outlet Mash was launched as a Telegram channel in 2017, with funds from Life founder Aram Gabrelyanov. Iksanov became a co-owner of the outlet in 2019. Prior to that, he mainly worked in state media, including for the television channels Rossiya, NTV, and Moscow 24.

Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) published an investigation titled “Putin’s Palace” on January 19. The report maintains that a $1.35-billion luxury residence was built for Vladimir Putin outside of Gelendzhik. According to the FBK, the palace’s construction was financed through a corruption scheme linked to private and state-controlled companies run by members of Putin’s inner circle. At the time of this writing, the video version of the investigation had gained more than 100 million views.

On January 25, Putin said that the palace doesn’t belong to him or his family members. The next day, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the property’s owners are “obviously businessmen” and emphasized that the Kremlin “has no right” to disclose their names.

In the video Mash released on January 29, Iksanov explains that a technical supervisor helped him gain access to the site and underscores that the residence is still under construction. That same day, the state television channel Rossiya 1 aired a segment claiming that “palace” is actually a hotel. Rossiya 1 maintained that the property owner asked to remain anonymous, but nevertheless gave their film crew permission to access the site.

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