Federal Protective Service Denies Presence at PM's ‘Secret Dacha,’ But Records Show Otherwise

Pawel Kopczynski / Reuters

The Federal Protective Service (FSO), which guards the highest ranking officials in Russia, says its staff are not providing security at the “Milovka manor” roughly a kilometer outside the town of Plyos, about five hours northeast of Moscow. The FSO’s denial follows allegations by anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his family are frequent guests at the luxurious mansion.

According to the Anti-Corruption Foundation, the whole compound is 80 hectares — a whopping 40 times larger than previously reported. The summer home also has its own marina and ski slope, not to mention three helipads, a special communications tower, an outdoor board for giant chess pieces, and — apparently — a home dedicated exclusively to ducks.

That Medvedev and his family are regular guests at the residence was already known, but Navalny’s group managed to record the first aerial footage ever published. The Anti-Corruption Foundation also shared state records showing that the FSO at least at one time had a special division stationed inside Milovka manor.

According to Natalia Timakova, Medvedev’s spokesperson, the prime minister has never owned or rented living space at Milovka manor, though she confirmed that he has stayed at the house before, which is ostensibly why the compound has a special communications tower.

“It’s not ‘Medvedev visited’” the manor, Navalny shot back in a blog post today. “It is ‘Medvedev and his family are permanently hanging out there.’”

The prime minister's staffer weren't done with Navalny's allegations, however. Later in the day, the anti-corruption activist revealed that Medvedev's official Twitter account recently blocked him.

”Dmitry Medvedev has responded to the corruption allegations.“

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