Remember that colossal palace that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was rumored to have used state funds to build? Well, it has just been sold. In this never-ended saga of Russian billionaires, it's only fitting that a Russian billionaire bought it—for $350M. The seller? Nikolai Shamalov, Putin's go-to guy. The buyer? Alexander Ponomarenko, a shipping magnate with an estimated worth of $1.4B. He's avidly denying reports that Putin owns the place—calling them "rumors and journalist fiction," in fact—and is now announcing his plans to turn the nearly 8,073,0000-square-foot villa into a hotel complex.
· Photos of Vladimir Putin's Rumored $1B Palace Surface [Curbed National]
· Russian tycoon buys 'Putin's Palace' near the black sea [Rianovisti via The Rich Times via The Real Estalker]
· #843 Alexander Ponomarenko [Forbes]