By Ria Novosti
Russia’s former Health Minister Yury Shevchenko said on Friday he paid almost 20 million rubles ($677,500) in damages ordered by a court for damaging a downtown Moscow apartment belonging to the head of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
“I sold my St. Petersburg flat and paid it off,” Shevchenko’s son Yury told a hearing at Moscow.’s Zamoskvoretsky court.
Shevchenko said the payoff was “forced” because a court ruling earlier barred his father from leaving the country for badly needed treatment.
Lidiya Leonova, who lives in the patriarch’s apartment in the Moscow landmark House on the Embankment just opposite the Kremlin, claimed last month that repair work in Shevchenko’s flat one floor down caused dust and “nano-particles” to coat Kirill’s furniture and books, and sued Shevchenko for damages.
The House on the Embankment is a massive housing block built in 1931 for Joseph Stalin’s ruling elite. But for most, residence there was short lived.
Stalinist purges of the late 1930s saw almost all its original residents either sent to labor camps or killed, with the empty luxury apartments promptly populated by the new generation of rulers.