Who is Oleg Deripaska? Oligarch’s £50m London mansion occupied by squatters

Activists occupied a mansion, which is owned by the family of oligarch Oleg Deripaska, and said they wanted to give the home to refugees.

An oligarch family’s £50 million central London mansion has been occupied by squatters who are flying a Ukrainian flag and anti-Putin banners from the windows.

The palatial property in Belgravia belongs to the family of Oleg Deripaska, one of seven oligarchs sanctioned by the UK Government last week.

Activists broke into seven-bedroom 5 Belgrave Square in the early hours of this morning (14 March) before hanging Ukrainian flags and banners.

One banner read “the property has been liberated” while another stated “Putin go f**k yourself”.

More than a dozen riot police arrived and cut a hole in the door.

They were trying to negotiate with the activists to try to get them to leave from a JCB in front of the house.

Protestors occupying 5 Belgrave Square, which is owned by the family of a sanctioned oligarch.

Who are the London Makhnovists?

The group occupying the property are calling themselves the London Makhnovists, referencing the Ukrainian anarchist Nestor Makhno.

They said they wanted to give the house to Ukrainian refugees, and warned of a “summer of anarchy”.

Makhno was the commander of the Revolutionary Insurgent Army of Ukraine, who occupied the houses of wealthy Russian during the 1917 revolution.

One activist told our sister title LondonWorld: “We want to give these properties to war refugees. It’s what they deserve.

“These people supported war for a lot of years. Seizing their property is the least they deserve. What the hell is going on?”

The squatters in 5 Belgrave Square.

Another of the squatters, who appeared to be in his early 20s, said: “There was no forceful entry whatsoever. We are using our human rights to protest.

“We are here to protest the property of a Russian oligarch and a war-mongerer.

“This government are not only acting illegally, they are acting immorally. This property belongs to Ukrainian refugees.”

A squatter in an oligarch-linked property in 5 Belgrave Square.

Another man said: “We are planning to stay until Putin stops the war.

“Putin is responsible for people losing their homes and lands. Sanctions are not enough.

“The Government has delayed action - they are playing games.”

A Twitter account called Resist London said: “The squatters are using a version of the Section 6 notice known as the ‘protest defence’, in which they do not intend to live and sleep at the property, but are instead occupying it as a protest, on rotation.

“This is because of the 2012 law change on residential property.”

Police in a JCB negotiating with the protesters.

A Met Police spokesman said: “Police were called shortly after 1am on Monday to a residential property in Belgrave Square.

“Officers attended and found that a number of people had gained entry and hung banners from upstairs windows. Officers remain at the location.”

Just after 12.30pm, a number of riot police cut a hole in the door and stormed the property.

The protesters, shouting at police from the edge of the balcony, asked why the British state was protecting this property.

An activist - one of five - told LondonWorld that the riot police were asking them to leave from inside the building.

He said that the group have no leader - “we are anarchists” - and he is from eastern Europe living in London, while other members are from other countries.

Supporters of the protesters arrived in the afternoon at the edge of the police cordon, including a man blowing bubbles.

At around 3pm, police on a JCB parked in front of the house attempted to get the squatters to leave.

The squatters called out to the crowd to bring them pizza.

At 3.45pm they still had not been removed.

Who is Oleg Deripaska?

Vladimir Putin and Oleg Deripaska pictured at an event in 2014 (Photo: Getty)

Oleg Deripaska, whose family own the building, was one of the Russian oligarchs who profited off the sale of the state’s assets after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

He was described as winning the “aluminium wars” in the 1990s, and until 2018 was in charge of United Company Rusal, the second-largest aluminium company in the world.

Deripaska, who Forbes estimates is worth £3.14 billion, is allegedly very close to Putin.

The occupied house went on the market for £25 million in 2002, which would have made it the most expensive terraced house in the world, however now estate agents estimate it is worth around £50 million.

The Grade I-listed pad has seven bedrooms all with en-suites, seven reception rooms, a home cinema, a Turkish bath and a gym.

There is also a separate mews house with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as a garden and double garage.

A version of this article was originally published on our sister title, LondonWorld.

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