Sanctioned Russian TV host Vladimir Soloviev mourns the loss of his Italian villa
The impact of Putin’s war is beginning to be felt, surprising even his most ardent propagandists on state television. It’s all fun and games until they take over your Italian villa.
That’s what one of the Kremlin’s most prominent propagandists found out this week, after Russia invaded Ukraine.
In 2019, before being poisoned and imprisoned, opposition activist Alexei Navalny and his team released a video report that revealed state television host Vladimir Solovyov possesses not one, but two villas in Italy on the road to George Clooney’s beloved estate on Lake Como. His neighbors have been protesting since he bought the property, even start a petition in 2019 to try to get the local authorities to ensure that he did not obtain Italian citizenship through his residency. The Kremlin spokesman known for constantly condemning Europe and the West for their alleged perversion and decadence has thus been exposed as an absolute hypocrite.
Last Christmas, Navalny’s investigation team, FBK, filmed the luxury residences of the state TV host and left him special gifts – Ukrainian chocolates, since Solovyov is also well known for his years of anti-Ukrainian propaganda. The Kremlin talking head was furious and complained about what he saw as an outrageous breach of privacy, but the worst was yet to come.
Soloviev learned this week that the latest sanctions imposed on the Kremlin regime and its accomplices will affect him personally. His access to properties in Europe is now impacted, and possibly his ownership as well.
In Friday’s edition of The evening with Vladimir Solovyovthe host rages“I was told that Europe is a citadel of rights, that everything is permitted, that’s what they said… I know from personal experience what is called the ‘sacred property right’. At each transaction, I brought documents showing my official salary, my income, I did everything. I bought it, paid crazy taxes, did it all. And suddenly, someone decides that this journalist is now on the sanctions list. And right away, it affects your real estate. Wait a minute. But you told us that Europe has sacred property rights!
Stunned and dismayed, Soloviev exclaims: “All of a sudden, now they say, ‘Are you Russian? Then we will close your bank account, if it is in Europe. And if it’s in England, you’re not allowed to keep more than a certain amount. Why? Because you are Russian. Prominent economist Mikhail Khazin added: “And that’s if you have an old account. They won’t open a new one.
Solovyov demand: “Is it the Iron Curtain?” German expert Alexander Sosnovsky replied: “Yes, absolutely, the Iron Curtain in its worst manifestation, painted in LGBT colours.” This reference again illustrates Russia’s intolerance of human rights and sexual minorities, yet it has done nothing to prevent Soloviev and other Kremlin propagandists from acquiring expensive real estate in what ‘they regard as degenerate and immoral western countries.
Appearing on the NTV program our own truth (Svoya Pravda), RT editor Margarita Simonyan vaunted“I’m not worried about sanctions, isolation, bans or the dollar exchange rate. We lived without iPhone, we can also do without Paris if necessary. It’s crazy to even contemplate this when the fate of the nation and the future of the world hangs in the balance.”
As for those who say “no to war” and who are ashamed of being Russian, Simonyan affirmed“I am ashamed that they are my fellow citizens.”
Attempting to deny Russia’s escalation of war against Ukraine, Simonyan asserted: “No one is fighting against the Ukrainians! We liberate Ukraine! She continued with another ridiculous claim: “No one is bombing peaceful Ukrainian cities!”
In his tirade, Simonyan derided those caught off guard or complained that the Kremlin was slow to act on Ukraine. She noted, “It is clear that such actions cannot be prepared just any old way and that we must prepare for them, including on the economic level. When we listened to the Security Council… [Mikhail] Mishustin [Prime Minister of Russia] spoken important words: one can imagine what kind of sanctions there will be. We have anticipated them and we are preparing. It also took time.
Simonyan described various preparations undertaken by Russian authorities for years, directly undermining talking points that attempted to link the timing of the Russian invasion to the “embarrassing” US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In fact, knowledgeable experts have been referring to the Kremlin’s secret plans for years. For example, in April 2021, appearing on Sunday evening with Vladimir Solovyov, Andrey Sidorov – vice-dean for global politics at Moscow State University – predicted: “It will all start in Ukraine. We will be forced to enter the battlefield in a fight that they think we are not ready for. The host asked, “A fight against who?” and Sidorov clarified: “Against the collective West.”
In 2022, with Russia’s war against Ukraine fully underway, Sidorov emphasized the importance of choosing the right words during his Friday appearance on Solovyov’s show: “Don’t call it occupation, call it it helps brotherly.
While most Westerners are too savvy to take Russian propaganda at face value, Moscow pundits are grateful to have those spreading pro-Kremlin talking points. Referring to Tucker Carlson as “the most popular host in the United States” during Thursday’s segment of The evening with Vladimir Solovyov, the host complained: “They accuse him of being a Russian spy.” Analyst Dmitry Drobnitsky responded: “Well, Tucker is definitely ours. That’s it.”
As for Putin’s greatest cheerleader, former US President Donald J. Trump, who describe Kremlin’s moves in Ukraine are seen as ‘geniuses’, Putin’s men in Moscow eagerly await his return as their only hope for relief from rapidly accelerating Western sanctions, which will soon include the disconnection of most major Russian banks from a global messaging system known as SWIFT.
During his Friday show, amid tense discussions of Western sanctions, Solovyov theatrically looked down at his watch and demand: “Is Trump coming back soon?”