LONDON: Squatters have occupied the London mansion suspected of belonging to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who was placed on Britain’s sanctions list last week, unfurling a Ukrainian flag and a banner saying “This property has been liberated”.
Police said they were called in the early hours of Monday (Mar 14) after it was reported that the squatters had entered the multi-million pound mansion in Belgrave Square, in an upmarket area of the British capital which is home to numerous foreign embassies.
“By occupying this mansion, we want to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine, but also the people of Russia who never agreed to this madness,” said a statement from squatters, who described themselves as anarchists.
“You occupy Ukraine, we occupy you,” the statement said.
A number of people gained entry and hung banners from upstairs windows, the police said in a statement. The police did not say who reported the incident.
Britain froze the assets of Deripaska last Thursday, one of a number of Russian oligarchs targeted in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin has called a “special military operation”.
Deripaska, who has stakes in En+ Group, a major extractives and energy company which owns UC Rusal, one of the world’s major aluminium producers, is worth an estimated £2 billion (US$2.62 billion) and has a multi-million pound property portfolio in Britain, the British government said at the time.