Fact check: Viral image of a conceptual design does not show Vladimir Putin’s house

The claim: Images show Vladimir Putin’s house in Sochi, Russia

A viral image of a white, futuristic home is circulating on social media alongside the claim that it shows Russian President Vladimir Putin’s residence in Sochi, Russia. 

“Putin’s house in Sochi, Russia designed by Roma Vlasov #EvilBuildings,” reads a screenshot of a viral tweet that was shared to Facebook by the page Black Twitter on April 6. 

The Facebook post has accumulated more than 9,200 shares, 6,400 reactions and over 500 comments before it was apparently removed.

Similar versions of the claim have been shared to Facebook. USA TODAY reached out to the users who posted them and the Facebook page for comment. 

The claim recently gained attention on Twitter after it was retweeted by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on April 5.

The original poster of the claim later clarified in a tweet that the image is a visualization and criticized Cruz for not checking the accuracy of the post.

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Photos are a 3D concept by architect

The images included in the post were first shared to Instagram as a three-dimensional concept design by Russian architect Roman Vlasov on Jan. 25.

“PUTIN HOUSE or a story about what his villa might look like,” Vlasov captioned the photos, tagging the location as Sochi, Russia. He also added the hashtags #concept and #architecture. 

In a March 28 Instagram video of the design, Vlasov wrote that his design could be purchased as a non-fungible token, a piece of data that verifies you maintain ownership of a digital item. 

The creation was also featured in a Feb. 5 article by designboom headlined, “Russian architect Roman Vlasov imagines what Putin’s house might look like.”

USA TODAY reached out to Vlasov for additional comment. 

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Our rating: False

An image claiming to show Vladimir Putin’s house in Sochi, Russia, is FALSE, based on our research. The home is a conceptual design that was created by Russian architect Roman Vlasov based on what he imagines Putin’s home would look like.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Roman Vlasov, Jan. 25, Instagram post
  • Roman Vlasov, March 28, Instagram post
  • USA TODAY, March 19, “A guide to NFTs: What are they, and why did someone spend $69 million for one?”
  • Designboom, Feb. 5, “Russian architect roman vlasov imagines what Putin’s house might look like”

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Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

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