Vladimir Putin's apartment in Tel Aviv

Russian president Vladimir Putin bought an apartment for his beloved teacher Mina Yuditskia Berliner, who taught Putin in high school in St. Petersburg.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with Al Arabiya, Sky News Arabia and RT Arabic ahead of his visit to Saudi Arabia, in Sochi, Russia, in this undated picture released on October 13, 2019 (photo credit: SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with Al Arabiya, Sky News Arabia and RT Arabic ahead of his visit to Saudi Arabia, in Sochi, Russia, in this undated picture released on October 13, 2019
(photo credit: SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)

In a building on Pinsker Street is a one-and-a-half-room apartment that Russian president Vladimir Putin bought for his beloved teacher, who immigrated to Israel in the 1970s.

"Russian president Vladimir Putin bought an apartment for his beloved teacher here in the building," the head of the housing committee of the Pinsker 17 residential building in Tel Aviv confirmed Monday morning.

According to the tenant, after the teacher's death, the apartment was transferred to the possession of the Russian embassy in Israel. "An embassy consul who lives not far from here is parked in the parking lot of the apartment, the apartment itself stands empty," he told N12. "Maybe Putin will ask the housing committee back. I heard he has financial problems. Of course, I'm kidding, the embassy paid the housing committee a year in advance."

Mina Yuditskia Berliner taught Putin when he was a teenager in high school in St. Petersburg. In 1973, Berliner immigrated to Israel and used to follow the experiences of the former student, who later became the Prime Minister and President of Russia.

Before one of Putin's visits to Israel in 2005, Berliner went to the Russian embassy and asked to send a message to the Russian president. She was even invited to an event held in Putin's presence, who immediately recognized his beloved teacher. Later, a Russian diplomat came to Berliner's apartment and informed her that President Putin had decided to buy her a one-and-a-half-room apartment on Pinsker Street.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the board of trustees of the Russian Geographical Society via a video conference call in Moscow, Russia April 14, 2021 (credit: VIA REUTERS)Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the board of trustees of the Russian Geographical Society via a video conference call in Moscow, Russia April 14, 2021 (credit: VIA REUTERS)

"When I received the apartment, I cried. Putin is a very grateful and decent person," Berliner said in an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth in 2014. Putin also sent Berliner a watch with a gift that read "From the President," and an autobiography signed by him. Berliner died in December 2017, aged 96.

In the parking lot of the building, there is still a vehicle with a foreign license plate, confirming that a representative of the Russian embassy was parked there.

When N12 asked one of the tenants of the building if they had noticed anything unusual amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine and protests against it, they said, "No, and I hope it stays that way."