Russia’s not-so-secret retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore is now closed.
Pioneer Point was listed on Google Maps, so it wasn’t all that secret, but what went on behind the gates and security cameras apparently was.
The Obama Administration says the retreat was used for intelligence activities. It’s one of two Russian-owned facilities that the U.S. is shutting down. The other facility is in New York.
A FBI and CIA joint report says Russian hacking impacted the 2016 presidential election, with the purpose of tilting the election toward Republican candidate Donald Trump.
President Obama also ordered 35 Russians out of the U.S. and added sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies, three companies that the U.S. says helped with the hacking, and four Russian cyber officials.
But back to Pioneer Point, about two miles outside Centreville, Maryland.
The Russian Federation bought the estimated $3 million estate in 1972 on the banks of the Corsica River near where it meets the Chester River. The property is somewhere between 50 and 45 acres, according to reports, and was owned by John J. Raskob, a chief aide to Pierre du Pont, the chairman and president of the Du Pont Company in the early 1990s.
At the time of the sale, according to the Associated Press, the fenced compound had a brick mansion, about a dozen cottages, four tennis courts, a swimming field and a soccer field. A Russian spokesman at the tune said it would be used a retreat. The Obama Administration says it was used for spying.
“On at least two occasions, buildings at the compound have caught fire and burned beyond repair while local firefighters were held up outside,” writes Rex Bowman of the Washington Post.
Russians depart Russian compound in Maryland- bus and vans and cars with diplomatic plates pic.twitter.com/d9pdjNn4Ex
— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) December 30, 2016