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Squatters move into Russian oligarch’s £25,000,000 Belgravia mansion

Squatters have occupied the central London mansion of a Russian billionaire sanctioned by the UK Government for his links to Vladimir Putin.

Banners on the multi-million pound property in Belgrave Square, near Knightsbridge, read: ‘This property has been liberated’, Putin go f*** yourself’ and ‘power breed parasites’.

A Ukrainian flag is also hanging from the scene, while two men have been pictured on the balcony with their fists raised.

A Metropolitan Police van is at the home, which belongs to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who has stakes in energy and metals company En+ Group.

He is one of the seven Russian oligarchs with business empires, wealth and connections that are closely associated with the Kremlin who have been sanctioned by the UK Government.

Mr Deripaska, thought to be one of Russia’s richest businessmen, has publicly called for peace after Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine last month.

The property is reportedly worth £25 million.

EDITORS NOTE LANGUAGE ON BANNERSA Metropolitan Police officers watch over a group of squatters occupying a mansion belonging to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in Belgrave Square, central London. Mr Deripaska, who has stakes in energy and metals company En+ Group, is one of the seven Russian oligarchs with business empires, wealth and connections that are closely associated with the Kremlin who have been sanctioned by the UK Government. Picture date: Monday March 14, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS UkraineMansion. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Police officers are watching over the group, who have a banner which reads: ‘Putin go f*** yourself’ (Picture: PA)
Squatters occupying a mansion belonging to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in Belgrave Square, central London. Mr Deripaska, who has stakes in energy and metals company En+ Group, is one of the seven Russian oligarchs with business empires, wealth and connections that are closely associated with the Kremlin who have been sanctioned by the UK Government. Picture date: Monday March 14, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS UkraineMansion. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Another message says: ‘This property has been liberated’ (Picture: PA)

It comes after cabinet minister Michael Gove said he wants to ‘explore an option’ of using sanctioned individuals’ properties to house Ukrainian refugees.

Asked about reports in the Daily Mail that he would like to seize Russian oligarchs’ mansions and use them to accommodate people fleeing the war, he told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: ‘I want to explore an option which would allow us to use the homes and properties of sanctioned individuals – as long as they are sanctioned – for humanitarian and other purposes.’

He added: ‘There’s quite a high legal bar to cross and we’re not talking about permanent confiscation.

‘But we are saying: “you’re sanctioned, you’re supporting Putin, this home is here, you have no right to use or profit from it – and more than that, while you are not using or profiting from it, if we can use it in order to help others, let’s do that”.’

FILE PHOTO: Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska attend a signing ceremony after talks with the Chinese delegation at the Kremlin in Moscow March 22, 2013. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo
Russian President Vladimir Putin with tycoon Oleg Deripaska in 2013 (Picture: Reuters)
EDITORS NOTE LANGUAGE ON BANNERSA Metropolitan Police Territorial Support Group (TSG) van watches over a group of squatters occupying a mansion belonging to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in Belgrave Square, central London. Mr Deripaska, who has stakes in energy and metals company En+ Group, is one of the seven Russian oligarchs with business empires, wealth and connections that are closely associated with the Kremlin who have been sanctioned by the UK Government. Picture date: Monday March 14, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS UkraineMansion. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
The mansion, now home to a Ukrainian flag is in Belgrave Square, central London (Picture: PA)

But on Monday, Sajid Javid suggested that housing Ukrainian refugees in the mansions of Russian oligarchs could face some ‘legal hurdles’.

The Health Secretary was asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain whether the houses should be the first place considered.

He said: ‘Not the first place – I don’t think it would be practical to make them the first place – but I do know that that is something that my friend Michael Gove is looking at.

‘I think there’ll be some legal hurdles to try and do that, but it’s right that he looks broadly to see how we can house more and more Ukrainian refugees.’

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