Riot police called in over protesters at Russian oligarch’s London mansion

Squatters display banners and a Ukrainian flag as they occupy a London building believed to be owned by a Russian oligarch
Associated Press/Alberto Pezzali

Riot police on Monday were called to a London mansion linked to billionaire Oleg Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, after it was taken over by squatters who said they were reclaiming the property for Ukrainians.

As the BBC reported, protesters were seen on the balconies of the central London mansion where they had hung banners declaring the property to be “liberated” and decrying Putin.

The group that took over the property is reportedly called the London Makhnovists, named after Ukrainian anarchist Nestor Makhno, who revolted against the Russian White Army.

The Metropolitan Police said that no one was found inside the property when they entered it, but added that it is “continuing to engage with those on the balcony as we balance the need for enforcement with the safety of all involved.”

Deripaska, the founder of numerous businesses including the metals and hydropower company EN+, was placed last week on a list of Putin allies to be subjected to sanctions by authorities. CNBC noted that the sanctions state that his assets will be seized and his travel restricted. Deripaska has been the subject of U.S. sanctions since 2018.

Deripaska’s wealth largely comes from the privatization of Russian state assets, according to CNBC.

The protesters gave statements to journalists while standing on the balcony, the BBC reported, with one addressing British Home Secretary Priti Patel and saying, “Don’t worry, we did your job — we did the housing, just send them here, we did the housing. Refugees welcome!”

“We’re demanding this property belong to Ukrainian refugees. Their houses have been destroyed and this guy [Deripaska] supported the war,” the protester added. “He knew the war was coming but he said nothing. His silence is violence.”

Some of the protesters appeared to imply that they had entered inside the house, telling reporters it was “massive,” with about 200 rooms inside.

A spokesperson for the British prime minister’s office told the BBC that squatting in a residential building is illegal, but added that the government was “working to identify the appropriate use for seized properties while owners are subject to sanctions.”

Tags BBC Great Britain London Oleg Deripaska oligarchs Russia Russian oligarchs U.K. Ukraine Ukraine invasion United Kingdom Vladimir Putin

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video