Empty homes

Police were engaging with protesters occupying the mansion of a Russian oligarch in Belgrave square.

Squatters broke into a property owned by industrialist Oleg Deripaska in the early hours of Monday morning, and draped a banner over the entrance reading ‘This property has been liberated’.

It comes a day after Michael Gove suggested that seized homes of oligarchs could be used to house Ukrainian refugees, despite there being many legal obstacles.

The Met Police said in their latest update that officers had searched the premises and that there was nobody inside.

In a statement it said: “We continue to engage with those on the balcony as we balance the need for enforcement with the safety of all involved.”

Officers were first alerted to a break in at Mr Deripaska’s £25 million London home at 1am on Monday morning.

Image: Oleg Deripaska. Credit: Flickr, World Economic Forum.

Mr Derispaska, 54, has an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion according to Forbes and was one of seven Russian figures targeted by sanctions last week.

Until 2018 he presided over energy firm En+ Group as well as the world’s second largest aluminium aluminium company RUSAL.

He is also the founder and owner of Basic Element, an industrial company based in Jersey.

Despite his ties with Moscow, Mr Deripaska tweeted in favour an immediate ceasefire on Saturday morning.

He said: “I remain committed to my belief that an immediate ceasefire and peace agreement as soon as humanly possible is the best and only solution to stop this madness in Ukraine.”

Main image credit: N Chadwick.

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