Oleg Deripaska, a Russian tycoon who was one of the seven oligarchs sanctioned by Downing Street last week, had his £25 million home in Belgravia taken over by squatters in the middle of the night.
The activists have covered the building in slogans which say, “this property has been liberated,” and “power breeds parasites”, while Ukrainian flags hang from other windows.
Deripaska is the founder of Basic Element – one of Russia’s largest industrial groups – and one of the nation’s largest charitable foundations Volnoe Delo.
He also has has a multi-million pound property portfolio in the UK with an estimated worth of £2 billion.
The billionaire has publicly called for an end to the violence triggered by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine almost three weeks ago, but still had his assets frozen and a travel ban imposed on him last Thursday over his Kremlin links.
Police were reportedly called to the oligarch’s mansion at 1am and have kept up a strong presence outside the property since.
In a statement released on Monday, the squatters said: “You occupy Ukraine, we occupy you.”
The group proclaim they are “anarchists” who stand against Putin’s regime in Russia.
They explained: “This invasion of Ukraine is only the last episode in a long series from the support of Assad in Syria to concentration camps for LGBT+ people, ecocides, massive wealth inequality, brutal repression of political opponents and so on.”
The group say their act shows “solidarity” with Ukraine, and the people of Russia who “never agreed to this madness”, claiming that only “empires benefit” from war while “common people pay the price”.
“Putin, go fuck yourself,” the activists write.
Hitting out at the elite who have functioned at the top of British society, the group adds: “Fuck you too.”
“This rich mansion will serve as a centre for refugee support, for Ukrainians and people of all nations and all ethnicities.
“Squat oligarchs’ properties everywhere.”
Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab has shown his support the proposal to house Ukrainian refugees in the seized properties of the Russian oligarchs, but this has not yet materialised into an official scheme.
The police have also received intense backlash for the extreme response to the squatters, as at least seven different vehicles turned up to the site and the whole road has been cordoned off.