The former Ukrainian leader’s neighbors include fashion designer Valentin Yudashkin, journalist Yulia Latynina, and the high priest of the Russian Orthodox Church himself, Patriarch Kirill, Meduza reports.
Journalists started searching for Yanukovych’s whereabouts in Russia almost the instant he left Ukraine, in the spring of 2014. The former president says he moved to Rostov-on-Don, but former Moscow city official Oleg Mitvol claimed as early as February 2014 that “a group of Ukrainian citizens” had procured for Yanukovych a home outside Moscow in Barvikha for a cool $52 million. No evidence has ever emerged to support this information, however.
On August 25, 2017, Russian singer Joseph Kobzon suddenly disclosed that Yanukovych has been living outside Moscow in the town of Bakovka. “I basically share a wall — we like to joke that it’s the Great Wall of China — with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych,” the crooner told Dni.ru.
Read alsoRussian delegation gave Yanukovych’s request for military aid status of official UNSC document – Ukraine’s former envoyThis “Great Wall of China” Kobzon mentioned — a massive brick wall — separates his property from a plot of land occupying more than 4 hectares (almost 10 acres) at 11 Odintsovo, Park Alley. The land belongs to the Russian Interior Ministry’s “Rushichi” government retreat.
According to Russia’s Federal Agency for State Registration, the land in Bakovka is designated as a “guesthouse for foreign specialists.” The compound includes a three-story 2,076-square-meter (22,346-square-foot) brick building, as well as a two-story 768-square-meter (8,267-square-foot) detached structure. There’s also a 25-meter-long (82-foot-long) swimming pool, a sauna complex, and storage facilities.
One of the last people to stay at the guesthouse was Moscow regional Governor Boris Gromov, who lived there until the summer of 2012.
Officials later paved a separate road to the guesthouse: Park Allery, which bypasses town and leads straight to the road that connects to Minsk highway. According to locals, a motorcade of several jeeps leaves the compound everyday around 11 a.m. and returns a few hours later. A year ago, sources informed Meduza that it’s between these hours that Viktor Yanukovych is often spotted at the World Class fitness club in Zhukovka.
A source who visited the “Rushichi” guesthouse in the early 2010s confirmed to Meduza that the setting for Oliver Stone’s interview with Viktor Yanukovych filmed in December 2014 strongly resembles the Interior Ministry’s compound in Bakovka.
Read alsoFBI suspects Manafort received up to $100 mln from Party of Regions, Russia - mediaSince March 2014, the Interior Ministry has ordered more services for its guesthouse in Bakovka, particularly when it comes to trash and waste removal. In early 2014, a sewage truck came to the compound once a month to take away “liquid sewage waste.” Since at least 2017, however, the Russian government has this truck come as often as once a week. Also in 2014, the guesthouse’s management started ordering cleaning service for its fireplaces and boiler room. Since the summer of 2015, the lawn has been mowed six times a year, and technicians were brought in to upgrade the swimming pool, two cold plunge pools, a jacuzzi, and small waterfall.
Also since March 2014, a private foundation called the “Rushichi Country Guesthouse” has become the owner of several assets in Crimea.
One of the neighborhood’s residents told Meduza that he encountered Viktor Yanukovych at a local park during the last New Year’s holidays. He was accompanied by several burly men. “The guesthouse staff said that Yanukovych is living at Budyunny’s dacha, but I’ve only seen him once,” the source told Meduza. “They keep quiet and don’t attract attention.”
Read alsoCourt of Appeal rules to seize land, Yanukovych's helicopter pad – chief prosecutorVitaly Serdyuk Yanukovych’s lawyer in the high treason case in Ukraine denies that the former president lives in Bakovka. “His correct residential address is 81 Eremenko Street in Rostov-on-Don. This address is confirmed, and [prosecutors] have received all the [necessary] documents,” Serdyuk says. In court, Yanukovych’s representatives have cited the same address, adding that he resides at “Building V.” But Ruslan Kravchenko, Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor, argues that no one lives at this address, pointing out that courier services have been unable to deliver a summons to Yanukovych in Rostov-on-Don.