Another Oligarch pays the price for speaking out as Sochi hotel is seized

Imeretinskiy Hotel Sochi - Image im-hotel

A court has ordered a Sochi hotel complex belonging to the Russian aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska be seized after he criticised President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

The seizure earlier this year was reported by the Financial Times on Tuesday, December 20, following his failure to stop criticising the government after being asked by the Kremlin to do so.

It would appear that the legal dispute began before the Ukraine invasion and is therefore not related, Deripaska has been critical of the war with a recent statement most likely to have influenced the outcome of the case.

Following the invasion, Deripaska said that peace was needed “as soon as possible.” Later in the year he stressed that “destroying Ukraine would be a colossal mistake.”

Deripaska had apparently been told by the Kremlin “to calm down” according to people close to him, with requests having been made on more than one occasion.

The Sirius Federal Territory, science, educational and tourism cluster established under Putin, filed three land dispute lawsuits against Deripaska’s company RogSibAl, which owns the Imeretinskiy complex.

Publicly available court documents seen by the FT show that the judge ruled in favour of Sirius in September, evicting RogSibAl. A separate judgment in the same month authorised the seizure of the company’s real estate.

Despite being one of the most outspoken critics of the Russian government, Deripaska and his aluminium giant Rusal have been under U.S. sanctions since 2018 for malign activity in both Russian-annexed Crimea and Ukraine.

Independent Russian news channels are linking the seizure of the Sochi hotel to the oligarch’s speaking out against the government both before and during the invasion of Crimea.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]