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"Putin's Palace" Sold to Someone Who is Definitely Not Putin

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]