THE son of one of Vladimir Putin’s closest KGB comrades has bought an elite hideaway on Scotland’s Secret Coast.

Monaco-based Yevgeniy Strzhalkovskiy – whose multi-millionaire father Vladimir is a close associate of the Russian president – has paid just under £4 million for an historic estate on the Cowal peninsula.

Mr Strzhalkovskiy, a keen yachtsman, is the latest Russian with strong Kremlin links to invest millions in Scottish real estate.

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His new home, 12-bedroom Knockdow House, is the secluded former seat of the Lamont Clan set in ornamental gardens and 250 acres of rolling woodland and fields overlooking the Kyles of Bute and Arran.

Marketed as a “beautifully positioned residential estate”, the property is at the heart of what is called Scotland’s “secret coast” or “Argyll’s forgotten corner”.

It is approached by a single narrow road from Dunoon but is easy accessible from Glasgow by yacht or helicopter.

Knockdow House

HeraldScotland:

Mr Strzhalkovskiy gave the address of a firm of solicitors in Monaco, according to title deeds for the property, which officially changed hands last month.

The firm of solicitors did not respond to requests for comment from The Herald.

However, the Strzhalkovskiy purchase comes as yet more evidence of intense interest in British real estate – both London homes and Scottish estates – from the new elites of Russia.

Mr Strzhalkovskiy’s father served as a KGB colonel alongside Mr Putin in Leningrad – the former name for St Petersburg.

However, Mr Strzhalkovskiy senior, who 63, is better known in Russia for a career in business and government which has flourished since Mr Putin came to power in 1999.

Vladimir Strzhalkovskiy

HeraldScotland:

He held several key government roles, including leading Russia’s tourism agency, before becoming chief executive of Norilsk Nickel, a multi-billion-pound mining and smelting corporation.

However, he left the metals giant, whose main operations are in Arctic Siberia, with the biggest ever golden parachute ever recorded in Russia: $100m.

Mr Strzhalkovskiy senior then forged a career at the Bank of Cyprus before being replaced in 2015 as vice-president by Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor who subsequently became Donald Trump’s Commerce Secretary.

Knockdow House

HeraldScotland:

He is also on the board of the Russian Geographical Society with Mr Putin and the some of the country’s most powerful oligarchs.

Vladimir Strzhalkovskiy is currently chairman of Dinamo, the Russian sports club associated with police and security services which has globally famous football and hockey teams.

His son is also in business and is understood to have strong interests in yachting, historic battle re-enactments and St Petersburg’s Zenit football club.

Vladimir Putin

HeraldScotland: Russian president Vladimir Putin speaks during a media conference after the G8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen

The Strzhalkovskiy family can trace its roots back to Polish nobility in western Ukraine.

Their new home has a strong aristocratic heritage. The estate was clan seat of the Lamonts for 600 years though the current building only dates to the 1760s.

The Lamonts made a fortune in sugar and slaves in Trinidad and Tobago and the property includes mahogany from their West Indian estates. The house was expanded in the 1920s by the then laird, Sir Norman Lamont, one time Permanent Private Secretary to Sir Winston Churchill.

Knockdow House

HeraldScotland:

The Knockdow estate was renovated by previous owners who used it as both a home and an elite wedding venue and exclusive five-star getaway.

The property includes what sellers said was a fine shoot and stables as well as numerous other buildings, including cottages for staff.

The main building now has five self-contained suites and new plumbing – it now boasts 117 radiators – and has been extensively modernised.

Seller Fatima Cameron, however, told The Herald that improvements had preserved its 18th century charm. She said: “We paid great attention to the original features, the cornicing, the coving, the woodwork because we have a duty of care to preserving the heritage here, and passing it on to the next generation.”

The Strzhalkovskiy purchase comes more than a decade after the steel billionaire Vladimir Lisin bought Aberuchill Castle in Perthshire. Oligarchs Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, and travel and metals giant Alexei Mordashov have both yachted off the Cowal recently.

READ MORE: The Herald's 1996 story on the sale - and history - of Knockdow Estate