Russian tsar descendant loses court battle for Kremlin

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A Russian court ruled Monday that a businessman who claims to be a descendant of Ivan the Terrible did not have the right to take over palaces in the Kremlin, the seat of the Russian government.

Russia's arbitration court threw out a claim by Valery Kubarev that he should take control of several palaces and all the towers of the red-brick fortress in central Moscow, used as offices for President Dmitry Medvedev.

"The claimant did not prove that his rights were infringed," the judge ruled, the Interfax news agency reported.

Kubarev, a rocket scientist who went into banking in the 1990s, claims to be a descendant of the Rurik dynasty, whose members included Ivan the Terrible, and wants the Kremlin to house an assembly of descendants.

Rurik, a leader with Viking blood, ruled Kievan Rus from the 9th century. Rurik's descendant Ivan the Terrible proclaimed himself "Tsar of all Russia" but the dynasty ended with his son, Feodor I.

"We expected this verdict and were not surprised," Kubarev told AFP after the case. "We will appeal and take the case to the Supreme Court and then I hope to the European Court of Human Rights."

Kubarev launched court action against the Russian government and the culture ministry asking for the palaces to house an assembly of Rurik's descendants.

If he had won the case, Kubarev vowed that he would improve access to the Kremlin, most of which is closed to the public, with some churches and palaces used as museums with paid access.

"We don't want the Kremlin to be a military fortress that people have to pay a ticket to enter," Kubarev said.

"We would like the Kremlin to be accessible to the people and to the descendants of those who created it."

© 2010 AFP

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