Not much is known about the two locations
Both were purchased by the Soviet Union decades ago
As part of President Barack Obama’s sanctions against the Russian government for its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, two Russian compounds, located in New York State and Maryland, will be closed.
Not much is known about the two locations, which were both purchased by the Soviet Union decades ago. But here’s a look at what we do know:
The compound in Centreville, Maryland
The Maryland compound is located two miles away from the Eastern Shore town of Centreville in Queen Anne’s County, about 60 miles outside Washington.
The Washington Post reported that the Russian Federation purchased the 45-acre vacation estate at Pioneer Point in 1972, which by 1992 was valued at $3 million.
The estate and brick mansion used to belong to John J. Raskob, a former executive for DuPont and General Motors.
An article published in The Washington Post in 1987 described the compound as having a tall chain-link fence surrounding it, as well as video cameras monitoring the gate, but also the lime-green bungalows, swimming pools and numerous tennis courts.
At the time, the neighbors were not intimidated by the Russian visitors, the Post reported.
“As far as neighbors are concerned, you couldn’t ask for better,” Joe Handley, a former estate manager for Raskob, told The Washington Post in 1979. “They don’t bother anybody.”
The compound in Upper Brookville, New York
Even less is known about the mysterious compound in Long Island’s Nassau County.
It sits on 14 acres and was purchased by the Soviet government in 1954. Known locally as the Norwich House on Mill River Road in the village of Upper Brookville, it was vacated earlier Friday.
It’s been most recently assessed at a value of $9.4 million according to county property records. It received a partial tax exemption due to its status as a foreign government’s embassy, records show.
Over the course of Friday morning, seven or eight vehicles with diplomatic plates could be seen leaving, some visibly packed with suitcases boxes and clothes hanging. Some people in the cars waved as they pulled out, but no one spoke to reporters. Some of the individuals leaving spoke to officials nearby, but it couldn’t be heard what was said.
Neighbor Liz Travers told CNN it’s been urban legend in the neighborhood that it was a Russian compound. Her broker told them they’d been there for decades.
Travers never saw one person – the house is set back off the road – only the occasional car.
“They were quiet. We never knew they were there,” she said.
But on Thursday, “There were a lot of cars. I thought they were having a Christmas party.”
Every year, the town of Oyster Bay board (which encompasses Upper Brookville) approved a resolution allowing for Russian diplomats from the county’s UN federation to use the town beaches with a waived fee. The most recent resolution passed at a meeting this past May.
CNN’s David Shortell contributed to this report.