Squatters Can Stay at a Russian Tech Entrepreneur’s Mansion in Amsterdam, a Dutch Court Rules


A bunch of squatters dwelling in an Amsterdam mansion owned by a distinguished Russian tech entrepreneur who’s below E.U. sanctions can keep, an Amsterdam court has dominated, discovering that there was no respectable motive for the constructing to lie vacant.

The proprietor of the home is Arkady Volozh, the founding father of Yandex, a tech colossus that dominated search and ride-hailing throughout Russia. Mr. Volozh served as the company’s chief executive, however he and his high deputy stepped apart after the European Union imposed sanctions on each of them, accusing them of abetting Kremlin disinformation.

Mr. Volozh holds an E.U. passport from Malta, however he isn’t allowed into the bloc below the sanctions, neither is he allowed to promote or lease out the home or make a revenue on it, the court docket ruling final week famous.

Squatters late final month moved into the home, which sits on an costly road within the southern a part of the Dutch capital overlooking town’s largest inexperienced house, the Vondelpark. The typical asking worth for a home on the road is about $1.6 million, in accordance with a Dutch real estate website that tracks the worth of properties.

One of many causes that Mr. Volozh had needed the squatters out of the property was that he and his household would often keep there, in accordance with the ruling. Renovations on the home, which began in 2019, have been additionally of their closing phases, it famous.

Given the E.U. sanctions, and since he was now not the chief govt of Yandex, which has an workplace in Amsterdam, the court docket dominated he didn’t have any motive to go to town.

Whereas house invasion and squatting are punishable offenses below Dutch regulation, “this isn’t an ‘strange’ emptiness,” the court docket ruling mentioned.

Mr. Volozh plans to to enchantment the choice, his lawyer said in a statement to The Guardian.

The squatters are protesting the warfare in Ukraine in addition to housing insurance policies in Amsterdam. “The squatters assume it’s unfair that millionaires can use Dutch homes to make a revenue,” their lawyer advised the Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool. Banners hanging from the house have learn, in English, “Towards Struggle and Capitalism.”

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