Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured between August 1 and 3, 2017, goes shirtless on vacation. Getty Images

KEY POINTS

  • Vladimir Putin reportedly escaped to his alleged secret palace located beside Lake Valdayskoye after announcing mobilization Wednesday
  • The residence is described as Putin's "most secret official dacha" and is close to churches he is known to have visited at times of crisis
  • It boasts a three-story spa complex with a cryo chamber and a mud bath in a 7,000-square-meter relaxation facility

Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly went on a vacation in Russia's northwest Novgorod region as riots erupted across the country over his Wednesday mobilization announcement.

Putin, 69, has been resting his "body and soul" in his residence in the town of Valday ever since the night of the declaration, independent Russian journalist Farida Rustamova said Saturday in a Telegram post, citing an unnamed source.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, denied that the Russian head of state was on vacation in the area, according to the journalist.

Putin's alleged secret forest palace, which is located beside Lake Valdayskoye, has been labeled his "most secret official dacha." A dacha can refer to a summer residence or a second home for Russians.

The Valday residence is close to Orthodox churches that Putin is known to have visited at times of crisis during his more than two decades in power, according to the Daily Mail.

It boasts a three-story spa complex with a "personal beauty parlor" nicknamed "the temple to his asceticism," the outlet claimed.

The spa complex allegedly also has a cryo chamber for extreme cold therapy and a mud bath in a 7,000-square-meter (75,347-square-foot) relaxation facility.

Putin's vacation will last at least a week, Rustamova claimed.

During the break, Putin held telephone conversations with Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdimuhamedow, as well as Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"A lot" of pre-filmed bilateral meetings were prepared to create the impression that Putin was continuously working while he was on vacation, the journalist said.

The Kremlin plans to use these pre-filmed materials until at least Thursday, which is when Putin has to visit a large industrial region, she claimed, citing an unnamed interlocutor familiar with Putin's schedule.

Since Putin announced mobilization, there has been unrest in more than a dozen major Russian cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Khabarovsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita and Ivanovo.

More than 2,000 people have been detained across Russia for protesting against the decision, The Guardian reported.

Putin's mobilization announcement followed a series of Russian setbacks in the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian military fatalities in the war numbered 5,937, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed on the day of the mobilization declaration.

However, independent Russian media outlet Mediazona reported it has been able to confirm 6,756 military deaths in Ukraine as of Sunday.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, for its part, said in its most recent casualty report that Russia has suffered 56,700 combat losses among its personnel between the start of the invasion on Feb. 24 and Sunday.

President Putin's mobilisation of civilians to fight in Ukraine has sparked protests in Russia