Uncorked 240-year-old wine angers Ukraine

Ukrainian prosecutors are reportedly looking into filing embezzlement charges against Ms Pavlenko, who is also wanted for alleged “treason” after voting in favour of the Russian annexation of Crimea.


The Russian President and former Italian Prime Minister, said to be firm friends, were on a tour of Crimea when they visited the famous Massandra estate.

Massandra, that has been nationalized following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, has exceptional mauve and sherry dating back to a little over 200 many years in the group.

While it is unclear how much, if any, of the wine Putin and Berlusconi consumed, Ukrainian prosecutors are furious, and are preparing criminal charges against Pavlenko.

Kholodnitsky said that authorities estimated the bottle of wine could be worth “over United States dollars 100,000”.

“This is one of the five bottles that constitute not only Massandra’s or Crimea’s heritage, but the heritage of all Ukrainian people, ” Nazar Kholodnytsky, first deputy prosecutor for Crimea told the Associated Press news agency in Kiev.

“Now she’s added one more crime to high treason”, Mr Kholodnytsky said.

According to Ukrainian law, presenting a bottle to someone as a gift without the presidential go-ahead could be seen as theft.

Any charges could not now be pursued in Crimea, where Russian Federation has full control.

Russian television last week showed Mr Berlusconi carefully examining dust-covered bottles of wine while Mr Putin listened to the winery director giving them a tour.


The Ukrainian prosecutors appeared to be referring to another bottle in their case and it wasn’t immediately clear what happened to the 1891 bottle. After the visit, Ukraine’s national security council issued a decree banning Mr Berlusconi from the country for three years for the “security of our government”.

Bottle was part of a legendary collection established by Prince Mikhail Vorontsov