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Ukrainian Flag Flies Over Guildford While Resident Suggests Oligarch’s Pile is Used for Refugees

Published on: 5 Mar, 2022
Updated on: 6 Mar, 2022

Ukrainian flags flying in Guildford: the Guildhall, the Castle and at Millmead

By Martin Giles

Ukrainian flags were flying in Guildford today (March 5) over the Guildhall, the Castle and at Millmead council offices.

The flags have been hoisted to show support for the people of Ukraine, according to a statement issued by the Mayor of Guildford yesterday.

See: Mayor – ‘Our Thoughts Are With the People of Ukraine’ – Ukrainian Flag to be Flown

Of ten people spoken to under the Guildhall eight approved of the flags being hoisted and two had no opinion.

Sutton Place Image Wikimedia

And five of the ten thought that the government should confiscate Sutton Place, an Elizabethan mansion, just three miles outside Guildford, from its owner and Russian oligarch Alisha Usmanov who was officially sanctioned by the government on Thursday. Three of those questioned were unsure and two thought the property should not be confiscated.

Another Guildford resident spoken to suggested the mansion should be used to accommodate Ukrainian refugees.

Other comments were:

  • It’s a tough one, but yes definitely.
  • I’m not sure this government should. I don’t know details of the owner but if he is close to Putin, yes we should.
  • I don’t know the circumstances. It should be investigated. If proved yes, but we mustn’t discriminate against Russians just because they are Russian.
  • Yes definitely. They shouldn’t have control of anything over here right now.
And three younger respondents said: “Russians assets should be seized. Even Russians are against the war. Only the rich are supporting him.”

Usmanov – who has long been seen as a close friend and a business fixer for Putin – is reported to have made frantic efforts to protect his huge fortune and began moves to sell the property in recent weeks.

Alisher Usmanov Image Wikimedia

The 68-year-old is said to be worth 14 billion US dollars and is the owner of MegaFon; USM Holdings; Udokan copper; and president of Fédération Internationale d’Escrime.

Earlier this week, the EU announced it was freezing Mr Usmanov’s assets, calling him a “pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to Putin

German authorities have seized his massive yacht at a shipyard in Hamburg, as part of the European Union’s effort to crack down on Putin associates amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The craft, a 512-foot boat called the Dilbar, is worth a reported $600 million (€540m), according to Forbes, which reported the seizure.

The UK government’s website says: “Today [March 3] the government has announced that a full asset freeze and travel ban has been imposed against Alisher Usmanov and Igor Shuvalov, 2 of Russia’s leading oligarchs with significant interests in the UK and close links to the Kremlin.

“Alisher Usmanov has had significant interests in English football clubs Arsenal and Everton. He owns Beechwood House in Highgate, worth an estimated £48 million, and the 16th century Sutton Place estate in Surrey.

“Igor Shuvalov’s assets in the UK include 2 luxury apartments in central London worth an estimated £11 million. He is a core part of Putin’s inner circle, and headed up Russia’s bid for the 2018 Football World Cup.”

The Mail Online reported: “Billionaire oligarch Alisher Usmanov ‘scrambled’ to sell his £50 million mansion in London before the UK government imposed sanctions on him.

“The former major Arsenal shareholder launched a desperate mission to offload Beechwood House – one of London’s most expensive properties – in the days running up to Vladimir Putin’s bloody invasion of Ukraine.

“The whereabouts of the fabulously-rich Putin ally were unknown today but sources say his wife Irina Viner and nephew Sarvar Ismailov are preparing to leave the UK.”

See also: Richest Man In UK Has a Guildford Home With A View, Of Sorts!

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Responses to Ukrainian Flag Flies Over Guildford While Resident Suggests Oligarch’s Pile is Used for Refugees

  1. Peta Malthouse Reply

    March 6, 2022 at 8:39 am

    Shouldn’t the travel ban and asset freeze apply to his wife and nephew?

    Once again I am frustrated by the all too apparent delay shown by our government. The US and EU have moved quicker, we are about a week or so behind.

    There is, however, some progress. But sanctions need to bite down harder and faster to have any impact on events.

    The assets of those sanctioned should be used to support all Ukrainian refugees plus the Syrians. I only now appreciate the impact that this brutal dictator has had on the war in Syria. At the invitation of Assad, he used the same tactics, committing war crimes without restraint on the population. Zelensky is a better publicist.

  2. M Hiblen Reply

    March 8, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    It’s so hard to believe this guy has been living literally a couple of minutes from our home in Jacobs Well. The whole concept of that kind of wealth is pretty grotesque to me anyway, but to think he’s also been in Putin’s ear.

    What on earth was he doing here?

    Glad he’s gone and, frankly, that property should be used to help Ukrainian refugees, there’s enough space to house hundreds probably.

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