Vandals on Wednesday scrawled anti-war slogans on a villa in Italy believed to belong to a Russian TV anchor close to President Vladimir Putin, and dyed the pool red.
The words “killer” and “no war” were sprayed onto the walls of the villa in Pianello del Lario, reportedly owned by Vladimir Solovyev, while the swimming pool overlooking Lake Como was coloured red, according to images taken by the ANSA news agency.
Italian authorities said earlier Wednesday they were investigating a small fire at another of Solovyev’s vacation homes in the nearby town of Menaggio.
Solovyev, a prominent radio and television presenter, is considered the Kremlin’s most prolific and enthusiastic propagandist.
He has three villas in the area, all of which have been seized by Italian financial police as part of sweeping Western sanctions against those close to Putin.
The villas, together worth some eight million euros according to the Italian government, are believed to be currently empty.
“Just one team of firemen put out the fire within a very short time,” Como fire chief, Gennaro di Maio, told AFP.
“There is hardly any damage, it was burnt tyres that gave off visible black smoke,” he said.
Menaggio’s mayor, Michele Spaggiari, told Italy’s AGI news agency that the fire appeared to be “a demonstrative act” causing little or no damage.
Spaggiari said Solovyev bought the property on the western side of the popular holiday destination in northern Italy about five years ago.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)