REPORTS
ANALYTICS
INVESTIGATIONS
  • USD89.02
  • EUR95.74
  • OIL82.28
DONATEРусский
  • 13934
News

Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife’s villa in Biarritz seized by French authorities

Cover photo: Anti-Putin graffiti sprayed on the gate of Vladimir Putin's ex-wife's residence in Anglet, France. Photo: AFP / Gaizka Iroz

A villa belonging to Russian national Artur Ocheretny, Vladimir Putin's ex-wife's new husband, was seized by French authorities on December 6, 2023, according to a report by the French business publication Challenges.

The empty villa, built by wealthy Anglo-Belgian financier Alfred Loewenstein in the 1920s, is located in the commune of Anglet, near the upscale French resort town of Biarritz on the Atlantic coast. It was originally named Villa Souzanna in honor of its patron, the widow of a London banker, but is also known as “Rêverie.” The structure, which resembles a Greek temple, features a peristyle with a curved pediment adorned with a bas-relief by a pair of famous French sculptors, the brothers Jan and Joël Martel.

Covering 5,000 square meters, the property was purchased in December 2013 — half a year after Vladimir Putin and Lyudmila Putina's divorce — for 5.4 million euros ($5.74 million) by Artur Ocheretny, as was reported by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). The property was previously searched as part of an investigation by JUNALCO (National Jurisdiction for Combating Organized Crime) — a division of the Paris public prosecutor's office.

Lyudmila Ocheretnaya (formerly Lyudmila Putina), was married to the Russian president from 1983 to 2013. Her 2015 marriage to Ocheretny — an Ironman triathlon aficionado more than 20 years her junior — was kept secret until 2016, when journalists discovered that she had changed her last name.

Vladimir Putin and Lyudmila Putina-Ocheretnaya have two daughters, Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova. Putin has never publicly acknowledged them as his daughters, often referring to them in interviews as “these women.”

Multiple investigations have confirmed that Lyudmila and her new husband own multiple properties in Russia and abroad, contributing to suspicions that the Russian president continues to finance his ex-wife’s lifestyle. In 2023, Artur and Lyudmila Ocheretnaya sold their estates in Spain — valued at 2.2 million euros — due to fears of EU sanctions.

The seizure of the “Rêverie” villa follows from a complaint lodged by Transparency International against Russian nationals after the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine. In addition to Artur Ocheretny's villa, real estate belonging to several Kremlin-connected oligarchs, including hydrocarbons magnate Gennady Timchenko and the construction tycoon Rotenberg brothers, has also been confiscated. Sergey Toni, the son of Russian Railways deputy manager Oleg Toni, has been targeted as part of the investigation as well.

The nearby villa “Alta Mira,” which was impounded by French authorities in April 2022, was purchased in 2012 by Kirill Shamalov. From 2013-2018, Shamalov was married to Katerina Tikhonova — Lyudmila Ocheretnaya and Vladimir Putin’s daughter.

Subscribe to our weekly digest

К сожалению, браузер, которым вы пользуйтесь, устарел и не позволяет корректно отображать сайт. Пожалуйста, установите любой из современных браузеров, например:

Google Chrome Firefox Safari