We didn’t know we were buying Zelensky’s flat, say Russian couple who now own lux Crimea property stolen by Putin regime | The Sun

A RUSSIAN couple who bought a luxurious Crimean property had no idea they would actually become owners ofUkrainian President's Zelensky former flat.

The Crimea sea-view apartment, owned by Zelensky's wife in Russian-held Ukraine was sold off at auction for nearly £400,000.

First Lady Olena Zelenska was forced to abandon the flat, located in the village of Livadia in 2014 after the Crimean Peninsula was illegally annexed by Russia.

She had bought it a year earlier for £135,000, according to Ukrainian media.

The new owners Olga Lipovetskaya, 50 and her husbandIvan Tuchkov are said to be delighted with the bargain and claim they were clueless regarding the property's previous owner.

They have been quoted by Russian media as saying: "We didn’t know that this was Zelensky’s apartment."

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Tuchkov added that he was unaware of the history of the flat, stressing that all the decisions were made by his wife Olga.

He said: "I have nothing to do with this apartment, everything was decided by my wife.

"I wanted it and bought it for personal purposes. In any case, I’m happy for her, such luck."

The 1,292-square ft flat has a grand balcony that looks out onto the Black Sea.

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Occupants can also see the Livadia Palace, once the holiday home of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, who was shot by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

Visitors climb a flight of stone stairs flanked by statues of lions to get into the building.

The large apartment, located on the fifth floor of the building, also reportedly comes with a parking space outside the Emperor residential complex.

Russian authorities in occupied Crimea had previously announced that the apartment had been "nationalised".

The auction on October 30, started with a bid of just £10,754 but grew rapidly.

Proceeds from the sale are reportedly being channelled back to the Kremlin to help finance the war in Ukraine.

But the pair is said to be less than happy with the attention they've received with Olga reportedly being forced to turn her phone off to avoid calls following the auction.

She reportedly posted on social media that they are "an ordinary family that was looking for an apartment so that the children could live in a good Crimean climate."

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