Squatters take over Russian oligarch’s Amsterdam home
Squatters have moved into a home on Vossiusstraat in Amsterdam Zuid, which belongs to the Russian billionaire Arkady Volozh, the founder of the search engine Yandex. The squatters say their occupation is a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and to draw attention to the housing crisis, NRC reports.
The squatters said they are “against the war, against the greed of oligarchs and billionaires, and against parasites that create capital.” They hung banners from the balcony with the text “against war and capitalism.”
In a statement, the squatters also said that they have occupied the property because “the rights of billionaires, who see our cities as investments, are better protected than those vulnerable people who want a roof over their heads. They also write that they’re squatting this house “in support of Ukrainian and Russian anarchists who fight against their state.”
They told NRC that they moved into the vacant house on Thursday evening and that the police paid them a visit on Monday morning.
Early this month, NRC and the Groene Amsterdammer revealed that Volozh, who is on the European sanctions list, owns this multimillion-euro home in Amsterdam. Because the Russian billionaire bought the property through a company in the British Virgin Islands, it remained out of the Dutch authorities’ sights for a long time.
On September 1, Volozh reported this property at his own initiative. But according to NRC, a communication error between Dutch Ministries resulted in the report only reaching the right office weeks later. The Netherlands froze this asset early this month, over a month after Volozh reported it. That means Volozh is not allowed to sell or rent out the house and can’t do any maintenance to it.