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Russian oligarch ‘appalled’ after protesters storm UK mansion

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s spokeswoman slammed British authorities after protesters stormed a swanky London mansion linked to his family this week — days after the billionaire was placed on the UK sanctions list in response to the invasion of Ukraine. A group of protesters briefly took control of the home in London’s Belgrave Square on Monday. The squatters hung signs from the mansion’s balcony that said “THIS PROPERTY HAS BEEN LIBERATED” and “PUTIN GO F–K YOURSELF” before authorities clad in riot gear intervened and ousted them from the property. Deripaska’s spokeswoman said the property belonged to members of the Russian oligarch’s family — adding that he was furious over the British government’s handling of the situation. “We are appalled at the negligence of Britain’s justice system shown by [Prime Minister] Boris Johnson’s cabinet in introducing the sanctions and colluding with the sort of people who raid private property,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “It’s truly a disgrace that this is happening in a country that is supposed to respect private property and the rule of law.” Last week, the British government placed Deripaska and several other individuals with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin on a sanctions list. The penalties were the latest effort by Western governments to exert pressure on Russia in a bid to bring the invasion to an end. Johnson said the government was “looking at” the possibility of housing Ukrainian refugees in property seized from Russian oligarchs. After a standoff, London police said they arrested “four people protesting on the balcony of a building in Belgrave Square.” An anarchist group calling itself “Resist London” took credit for the incident, arguing in a statement that Deripaska was “complicit in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.” “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,” the group said on Twitter. “As always with wars, empires benefit and common people pay the price.” The fiery message ended with a call for the public to “squat oligarchs’ properties everywhere.” The incident marked the latest sign of trouble for Russia’s richest people, who have scrambled to sell off properties and relocate their superyachts to avoid seizures by Western authorities. The UK sanctions also targeted Russian oligarch Roman Abramovic, who was effectively barred from selling his ownership stake in Premier League soccer club Chelsea FC. With Post wires

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