Putin’s ‘top propagandist’ is a resident in London

‘His true Motherland is Britain!’: Putin’s ‘top propagandist’ is a resident in London with a £700,000 property in Chiswick, claims Russian anti-corruption campaigner

  •  Sergey Brilev, 46, the anchor for Kremlin-funded Rossiya 1, and his wife Irina Brileva, appear on the British electoral roll, campaigner Alexei Navalny said
  • Brilev was formerly a Russian TV correspondent based in Britain and used that position to gain a passport, the campaigner claimed
  •  Open sources in London show Brilev’s charity worker wife Irina bought a West London apartment valued at £700,000 in 2016

Russia’s top pro-Putin journalist has been accused of hypocrisy after it was revealed that his wife owns a secret £700,000 home in west London.

Sergey Brilev, 46, the anchor for Kremlin-funded Rossiya 1, and his wife Irina Brileva, are even found on the electoral roll, according to campaigner Alexei Navalny.

Navalny has challenged Brilev, who regularly hosts Vladimir Putin’s televised phone-ins, to deny that he also secretly holds a UK passport.

The disclosure that one of Russia’s leading Putin cheerleaders is a resident in Britain is deeply embarrassing for the anti-British Kremlin.

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Sergey Brilev, a top pro-Putin TV presenter, poses by Tower Bridge in London in 2017

Brilev, right, and his wife Irina Brileva, left, pose outside Warwick Castle in 2017

Mrs Brileva allegedly owns a £700,000 flat in this apartment block in Chiswick, west London

‘Brilev’s main propaganda weapon is the total replacement of reality,’ alleged Navalny, seen in Russia as the strongman’s most charismatic political foe.

The presenter gives the impression that ‘there is simply no bad news’ about Putin, he said.

When Novichok poisoners Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were exposed as spies, Brilev ignored this development and instead ran a soft feature on the Duchess of Sussex, he said.

Open sources in London show Brilev’s charity worker wife Irina bought an apartment valued at £700,000 in 2016 without a mortgage in Heathfield Terrace, Chiswick.

She is also linked to a managing company for this address.

Cuban-born Brilev had formerly worked in Britain as a correspondent for Russian TV. Navalny claims he qualified for a British passport under Home Office rules at the time, which required applicants to have lived in the country for six years.

Putin supporter Brilev, left, and his wife Irina, right, pose in Chiswick in 2017

Brilev, right, listens to Vladimir Putin deliver a speech at the Eastern Economic Forum in 2016

A young Brilev reports from London when he was based here as a foreign correspondent

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‘This is how we found the true motherland of the state TV propaganda man Sergey Borisovich Brilev,’ alleged Navalny on an internet broadcast.

‘This man has been sitting next to Putin for 17 years – the TV presenter of his hotlines. He tells us every week how great it is to live in Putin’s Russia, yet officially he is a subject of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.’

Navalny did not present evidence that Brilev has a British passport. He claimed, however, that in 2001 the presenter was on an electoral register for an address in Notting Hill, which would not be possible without British citizenship, he said.

‘In 2001 the correspondent did have a passport but not enough money to buy property in London,’ alleged Navalny. ‘All has changed now. His 15 years praising Putin on federal TV have paid him well.

‘Now Brilev has both citizenship and a “spare” $1 million dollars (£700,000) to buy an apartment in Chiswick. A true Putin patriot. A responsible voter in Britain.’

Brilev’s official biography on his channel makes no mention of his alleged British links. He is described as being ‘best known for his exclusive interviews with Russian and global movers and shakers’.

In addition to his interviews with Putin, it highlights those with Barack Obama, George W Bush, Tony Blair and Hugo Chavez. His interview with former foreign secretary Boris Johnson in 2017 is not mentioned.

Brilev has been approached for comment.

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