Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg says he is the owner of an opulent Black Sea mansion, not President Vladimir Putin, as the leaders’ critics had alleged.
A video report about the vast palace, by Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, went viral across Russia and has now been watched more than 100m times.
The Russian president rubbished reports he owned the resort earlier this week.
Mr Rotenberg, a billionaire with close links to Mr Putin, went public claiming to be the owner on Saturday.
The revelation came in an interview posted on the pro-Kremlin Mash Telegram channel, before being confirmed to the Interfax news agency.
“I have managed to strike a deal with creditors a few years ago, and I became a beneficiary of this site a few years ago,” Mr Rotenberg’s press office quoted him as saying.
Mr Rotenberg said the property will be completed “in a couple of years” and is expected to become an apartment hotel.
The claim comes as a crackdown against opposition figures intensifies across Russia.