An “exclusion zone” the size of Malta was set up around Putin’s castle in Valdai

Russians have been banned from visiting half of Lake Valdai due to the luxury homes of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his lover Alina Kabaeva located on its shores. In total, citizens were denied access to a territory of 36,000 hectares, or 316 km², the size of a country like Malta.

The news about it appeared on the official website of the Valdai National Park in the Novgorod region in early March, Meduza noted. This happened a few days after the publication “Project” spoke about the real estate of Putin and Kabaev in Valdai.

However, the relevant regulation of the Ministry of Natural Resources was signed on November 11, 2022 and published on January 18, 2023. There was talk of expanding a special protected natural area (SPNA) within the park.

Lake Valdai is divided into two parts by the islands that are in the middle. On one side is Valdai, or the first course – on its shore stands the city of Valdai and the Iberian Monastery. This part still belongs to recreational areas. It allows tourism, amateur fishing and hunting, but economic activity is prohibited.

On the other side, the range is called Dolgoborodsky, that is, the second. On its shore there is Putin’s castle and Kabaev’s house, which in early March became a specially protected natural area. Russians can visit lands that have the status of protected areas “for the purpose of educational tourism.” However, the law requires you not to cross the “road limit” or special tour routes in such areas. Nevertheless, there are no routes along the lake itself on the official website of Valdai Park. In addition, it was separately emphasized that the “residence of citizens” is prohibited.

For violation of the rules of protected areas, administrative liability is provided: for individuals – a fine of up to 4 thousand rubles, for legal entities – up to 500 thousand. “. In this case, a fine of up to 200 thousand rubles can be imposed. and two years of hard labor.

According to the official version, it was necessary to close the access to the second course to the Russians due to the “deterioration of the ecological condition” of the lake. The ban was put in place to “lower the rate of his [озера] eutrophication, or water blooms, the park informed.

Following the indignation of local residents, the management of the park published a “scientific justification” for the need to close the second section. Its author was Arkady Tishkov, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, head of the Biogeography Laboratory of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In a letter dated August 2, 2022, addressed to the director of the park, Sergei Malenko, Tishkov said that he agreed with the idea of ​​u200bu200bchanging the environmental regime in the second section in order to reduce “the rate of its eutrophication and vegetation overgrowing with water.” He also noted that the closure of the section it will make fish spawning “more efficient” and preserve “breeding sites for many valuable and rare species of birds”.

“Blooming” water there [на втором плесе] never seen, on the contrary, it was always crystal clear. The place is beautiful, no rubbish has ever been seen in these parts, everything is refined, everything is clean. The second section is an idyll for tourists with tents,” says local resident Dmitry.

However, according to him, already from 2016, “the presence of a number of secret items was felt” – for a wrong turn he was quickly stopped by “guys in camouflage”. “Of course, anyone can understand why [закрывать второй плес для посещения]. Just look at the satellite image [на котором видны дома Путина и Кабаевой]”- sums up Dmitry.

“The authorities are slowly pushing out more and more new territories,” another resident briefly summed up the situation.


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