</p> <p>An oyster farm reportedly linked to<br /> President Vladimir Putin has been bought by one of the Russian<br /> leader’s closest allies.</p><div class='code-block code-block-1' style='margin: 8px 0; clear: both;'> <script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:block; text-align:center;" data-ad-layout="in-article" data-ad-format="fluid" data-ad-client="ca-pub-3582315701928315" data-ad-slot="4642392753"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script></div> <p>Fifty-two-year-old billionaire<br /> Alexander Ponomarenko bought full control of seafood company Yuzhnaya<br /> Tsitadel from its former CEO Alexei Vasilyuk, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.vedomosti.ru/business/articles/2017/03/10/680586-ustrichno-midievoi-fermi-dvortsa-putina">the Kommersant<br /> newspaper reported Friday.</a></p> <p><span>The farm controls 1000 hectares of sea<br /> and coastline close to an infamous mega-mansion dubbed “Putin’s<br /> Palace” by the Russian press.</span></p> <p> The 17,700-square-meter hotel complex<br /> in the Black Sea resort of Gelendzhik was <a target="_blank" href="https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/friendly-oligarch-buys-putin-palace-5415">bought by Ponomarenko in<br /> 2011</a>, but had previously been linked to the Russian leader.</p> <p><span>Writing in an open letter to<br /> then-President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010, entrepreneur Sergei<br /> Kolesnikov alleged that he had helped build the complex for Putin and<br /> his entourage.</span><br /> </p> <p>The Reuters news agency later reported<br /> that the mansion had been built using public money <a target="_blank" href="https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russian-state-project-helped-fund-putins-palace-35627">earmarked for a<br /> billion-dollar hospital project.</a></p> <p>The oyster farm adjoining the property<br /> was uncovered by Russia’s RBC news outlet in May 2016.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-editor-idUSKCN0Y41LF">A company source told Reuters</a><br /> that the investigation was the “final straw” for the Kremlin,<br /> leading to the departure of three top editors from the publication.</p> <p>RBC Group Editor-in-chief Elizaveta<br /> Osetinskaya, RBC newspaper Maxim Solyus, and web editor Roman Badanin<br /> had ran numerous investigations into how Putin’s friends and<br /> family members had accumulated their vast fortunes.</p> <p>The Kremlin denies all claims.</p> </div> <div class="navigation-inner"><a class="prev-post" href="http://cultureru.com/russian-shoe-sales-plummet-amid-economic-crisis/" rel="next">Russian Shoe Sales Plummet Amid Economic Crisis</a><a class="next-post" href="http://cultureru.com/officials-plan-tax-breaks-to-get-russians-saving-for-retirement/" rel="prev">Officials Plan Tax Breaks to Get Russians Saving for Retirement</a></div> <div class="gap-20"></div> </article><!-- #post-17531 --> <div class='code-block code-block-2' style='margin: 8px auto; text-align: center; display: block; clear: both;'> <script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- vidget --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:block" data-ad-client="ca-pub-3582315701928315" data-ad-slot="4301813101" data-ad-format="auto" data-full-width-responsive="true"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script></div> </div><!-- #content .wf-cell --> </div><!-- .wf-container --> </div><!-- .wf-wrap --> </div><!-- #main --> <!-- !Bottom-bar --> <div id="bottom-bar" role="contentinfo"> <div class="wf-wrap"> <div class="wf-table wf-mobile-collapsed"> <div class="wf-td"> </div> </div> </div><!-- .wf-wrap --> </div><!-- #bottom-bar --> <a href="#" class="scroll-top"></a> </div><!-- #page --> <script type="text/javascript">(function(w,doc) { if (!w.__utlWdgt ) { w.__utlWdgt = true; var d = doc, s = d.createElement('script'), g = 'getElementsByTagName'; s.type = 'text/javascript'; s.charset='UTF-8'; s.async = true; s.src = ('https:' == w.location.protocol ? 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