这栋房屋完全配得上博物馆的称谓。一个庞大的水晶吊灯（众多水晶吊灯之一）悬挂在一个飞机库般大小的客厅之上。客厅中一处可俯瞰花园的位置摆放着一架白色的斯坦韦牌卧式钢琴。在屋内堆积如山的文件中，活动人士发现了数枚银质匕首和一把镶有5.1克拉白色钻石、纯金打造的.38口径史密斯韦森手枪的防伪证明书。走进一个大型酒吧，映入眼帘的是各种法国美酒，令人应接不暇。这栋豪宅的3D影院配有环绕音效系统和按摩椅，还收藏了一些好莱坞大片的DVD影碟，其中包括《肖申克的救赎》(Shawshank Redemption)和《爱丽丝漫游奇遇记》(Alice in Wonderland)。
On the first warm Spring day in Ukraine on Friday, hundreds of Kiev residents headed to the capital's loveliest spot to soak up the sun: A sprawling park-like estate, with manicured gardens, and a tennis court, bowling alley, and yachting marina. Until a few weeks ago, Ukrainians did not even know this place existed. Certainly, they would have faced immediate arrest had they dared venture through the tall, gold-trimmed gates. Now, the area is one of Ukraine's most visited sites, a living museum to a world that has suddenly, unexpectedly vanished, leaving an uncertain future in its place.
Welcome to the home of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych.
Hours after former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych fled for his life to Russia on February 22, activists raced to the village of Novi Petrivci, outside Kiev, where Ukraine's presidential residence has for years sat on the banks of the Dnipro River.
What they found behind the high walls astonished them. The old official residence was dwarfed by a new, five-story, wood-sided mansion, which the president had commissioned for himself and his young mistress around 2011, at a time when Ukraine was deep in debt, and trying to dig itself out from the global recession.
Outside, the manicured grounds contain graceful bridges, a full-sized pirate ship, a greenhouse, and a zoo filled with rare birds and ostriches. So secret was the area that the airspace above was closed to planes until February 22. Security cameras embedded in the gardens helped to ensure that no staff member snapped evidence of the president's wealth -- money that was largely siphoned off from public coffers, according to Ukraine's new government.
But the truly jaw-dropping opulence is off-limits to regular Ukrainians, who have descended on the estate during the past two weeks: Inside Yanukovych's private mansion. Filled with priceless objects, the house is locked, and young activists—who until last month were demonstrating on Kiev's Independence Square -- stand guard outside.
On Friday morning, Fortune was treated to an in-depth tour of the private quarters, offering a window into the incalculable luxury Ukraine's leader enjoyed. "France has the Versailles castle, and I would like this to be like that," says Julia Mykytenko, 18, a language student who is one of the activists currently living in the house -- sleeping in the antique carved beds and showering with solid-gold bathroom fittings -- in order to safeguard it from looters. As she guided me through the marble hallways and up a series of intricately carved staircases, she said, "Many of us think this should remain as a museum of corruption."
As a museum, the house is hard to beat. A vast crystal chandelier (one of many) hangs over a hangar-sized living room, where a white Steinway baby grand overlooks overlooking the gardens. Amid the mountain of documents uncovered in the house were certificates of authenticity for silver daggers and a solid-gold Smith & Wesson .38-cal. handgun, encrusted with 5.1-carat white diamonds. A large bar is stocked with fine French wines. And the mansion's 3-D cinema has Surround-sound, massage chairs, and a small collection of Hollywood hits on DVD, including Shawshank Redemption and Alice in Wonderland.