Russian TV host Vladimir Solovyov owns two luxurious villas in the north of Italy and has a permanent resident card issued by this European country, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said in his recent investigation.
The properties are located at Lake Como near the Swiss border. On the fence, there is a huge poster bearing the name of Vladimir Solovyov, Navalny said.
However, Vladimir Solovyov does not seem to be bothered by Navalny’s findings. “I buy because I can! My money was earned honestly,” the presenter stressed. But what about values? According to him, they are different in Russia and Europe.
“You can hear about anything, but you will never hear from me that European culture, nature, history, civilization are bad. But of course [I criticise] bloopers made by political leaders of different countries,” Solovyov parried.
It is true that Vladimir Solovyov is not a poor man. Once he even ran his business in the USA. In other words, his pattern of behavior is consistent with the logic of business people – Russian moneybags often purchase property abroad. Solovyov’s colleagues are also not lagging behind – Sergei Brilev, for example, has a British passport, ‘eternal’ news presenter Yekaterina Andreyeva is a citizen of Montenegro. Why don’t representatives of the Russian ‘patriotic’ television take care of their applying double standards?
“Such people are dead to shame. They mingle with people who understand everything perfectly well. People in [pro-Kremlin] journalistic community turn a blind eye on everything,” Roman Zakharov, a representative of the Glasnost Defense Foundation, said.
According to the experts, European law protects owners, which means that ideological ‘fighters’ need not be worried. But there are some exceptions, for example, notorious Dmiry Kiselyov who fell under Western sanctions. He attempted to take advantage of the European judicial system and challenge the ban, but in vain.
What do Russian citizens think about Russian TV demonizers of the West who invest into real estate abroad. Is there no gap between words and deeds?
“I think there is some contradiction. They never tell us the truth. Who will tell us the truth, what for? If we know the whole truth, we will not be able to have a peaceful sleep.”
“I do not believe him and anyone working for propaganda tubes. I do not know what will happen to me tomorrow, but I do not believe him. ”
“It is up to him. If he has such an opportunity, why shouldn’t he buy property where he wants?!”
“Maybe he likes living in the West? He says he is against the West, but buys a villa abroad. It means that he is hedging his bets so that he would not be brought to justice if anything crops up.”
As is clear from recent sociological surveys, Russians’ attitude to state-run television is changing. For the past nine years, the level of public confidence in state-run television had decreased by 30%, Russian pollster Levada Center reported in the autumn of 2018. Moreover, according to the latest survey of the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), the trust rating of Russian president Vladimir Putin has dropped to 33.4%.