This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Squatters have taken over the central London property belonging to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, saying they have “liberated” the mansion and plan to use it to house Ukrainian refugees.
Police cordoned off the area around the mansion in the ritzy Knightsbridge area of London after the squatters took over the property, which is estimated to be worth around $65 million, on March 14.
“This property has been liberated,” a banner hanging off a second floor balcony of the dwelling said.
Another was more direct: “Putin, go f*** yourself!” For emphasis, the phrase was also written in Russian.
A Ukrainian flag could also be seen hanging from a third-floor window.
Police stood by but did not arrest any of the squatters.
Deripaska is one of several Russian oligarchs to be hit with sanctions by the U.K. government.
The moves, taken in response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, freeze their U.K. assets and also impose a travel ban on them, meaning they are banned from visiting the United Kingdom.
They are also prohibited from engaging in transactions with U.K. individuals and businesses.