Russian authorities will spend the earnings from the sale of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s apartment in annexed Crimea on Moscow's war effort in Ukraine, a Russian-installed official said Tuesday.
“We unequivocally determined that the funds from the sale of Zelensky’s apartment will be used for the needs on the front and assistance to the participants of the special military operation [in Ukraine] and their family members,” Vladimir Konstantinov, speaker of Crimea’s parliament, told Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.
The apartment seizure was part of the Crimean authorities’ nationalization of properties owned by so-called “unfriendly” foreigners and entities.
Around 700 Ukrainian-owned properties, including banks, wineries, and Zelensky’s own apartment, were seized as of May this year.
In 2013, Zelensky’s wife Olena Zelenska purchased the apartment in Levadia near the resort city of Yalta for just under $164,000.
The 119.5-square-meter, three-bedroom penthouse was listed for sale at almost $800,000 in 2019.
Months after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into neighboring Ukraine, Russian lawmakers started drafting laws that would allow the seizure of Ukrainian-owned assets.
Officials in Moscow had previously pledged to respect property rights in place before Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have vowed to return Crimea to Ukraine’s control since Russia's February 2022 invasion.