Putin's palace? A mystery Black Sea mansion fit for a tsar (BBC)
By Tim Whewell
On a thickly wooded mountainside overlooking Russia's Black Sea coast, an extraordinary building has gradually taken shape. It is alleged to be a palace built for the personal use of Vladimir Putin, with massive and illegal use of state funds.
Originally conceived, it is said, as a modest holiday house with a swimming pool, it now boasts a magnificent columned facade reminiscent of the country palaces Russian tsars built in the 18th Century.
The massive wrought-iron gates into the courtyard are topped with a golden imperial eagle. Outside are formal gardens, a private theatre, a landing pad with bays for three helicopters, and accommodation for security guards.
All this and more is revealed by satellite images of the area and photographs on the internet, some of which you see here, which campaigners say were leaked by workers at the site.