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Tour the Glitz of Ukraine's Abandoned Presidential Palace

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After Ukraine's Euromaidan protests resulted in the ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych, he fled Mezhyhirya, the presidential palace just outside Kiev, leaving it free for opposition members to storm, and storm they did, documenting the faux-Gilded Age gaucheness of what they found inside. None did it better than blogger and activist Ilya Varlamov, whose LiveJournal is a treasure trove of surreal pomp, showcasing drawers stuffed with billy clubs, peacock-inlaid shower mosaics, and petting zoos stocked with actual peacocks. While Stalin's similarly opulent Sochi vacation villa has had time to appreciate in weirdness, this brand of tasteless luxury was so fresh that recently dumped documents were still floating in a nearby river. What follows is a visual guide to the strangest finds from in and around chez Yanukovych.

↑ One protester takes stock of the rustic living quarters, complete with a sofa whose supreme lack of appeal can only be described as 'despotic.'

↑ A home theater, with chairs from Sharper Image's short-lived Bavarian-inspired offshoot.

↑ "Can you tell them to put the bathtub right next to my many-horned shrine to abundance and nourishment?"

↑ For a truly presidential shower experience, try peacock murals.

↑ Unlike the most exorbitant of Eastern European pools, this one also doubles as a fishbowl.

↑ Because no Ukrainian presidential palace would be complete without a bear built from straw.

↑ Or, for that matter, a statue of a horse with a pastoral scene stretching from withers to flank.

↑ On an artificial waterway nearby, a replica galleon.

↑ Crumbling classical columns served as an ironic presage of the end of another order.

↑ A lonely filling station for Yanukovych's fleet of classic cars.

· Inside the Splendor of the Abandoned Ukrainian Presidential Palace [Gawker]
· Zyalt [LiveJournal]
· All Politico Pads coverage [Curbed National]