Europe

In pictures: Luxury Ukraine presidential home revealed

  • 23 February 2014
  • From the section Europe

The lavish country estate of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has been thrown open to the public as parliament voted to remove him from power.

Mr Yanukovych has left the capital Kiev and his whereabouts are unknown. On Sunday, parliament voted to return ownership of the Mezhyhirya property to the state. Acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov called for it to be put under state guard to prevent looting.

Image caption Thousands of Ukrainians flocked to see the opulent country estate of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych after he unexpectedly fled the capital, Kiev.
Image caption Inside the walled compound known as Mezhyhirya - about 15 km (10 miles) from Kiev - luxurious buildings stood amid manicured lawns.
Image caption With the gates to the secretive estate thrown open, people discovered a replica galleon floating on an artificial waterway.
Image caption People also lined up to take photographs of the private zoo complete with ostriches and deer.
Image caption The sprawling estate also features a golf course. This visitor found a set of clubs stamped with the president's initials.
Image caption For many anti-government protesters, the opulence is a symbol of the alleged corruption at Ukraine's highest levels.
Image caption The parks are dotted with statues, ponds with fountains, wild ducks, a tennis court and a colonnaded pavilion.
Image caption There are also replica ancient Greek ruins and lavish waterways and follies.
Image caption There was no sign of attempts by security to stop people celebrating in the grounds.
Image caption Signs in the grounds of his home openly mocked the ousted leader.