Government docs reveal that Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, makes about 9 million rubles a year. Unfortunately for him, that’s in rubles. His officially-declared assets seem to consist of a small plot of land, an apartment, and a garage.
Money Magazine has called it Putin’s personal fortune “the Holy Grail for spooks and hackers around the globe.” There are tantalizing allegations of secret slush funds and shady deals. One Russian investor, according to the Atlantic testified to the U.S. Congress that there are some 10,000 officials in Russia responsible for doing Putin’s dirty and illegal work. Bloomberg says he has dismissed the quality of the journalism, saying, “They picked it out of their noses and smeared it on their pieces of paper.” The man has a certain eloquence, but don’t be fooled, he’s a thug. Here are 15 luxury items Putin owns without any clear explanation as to how he can afford them!
15. Golden Toilet Is Worth $75,000
For all the billions of dollars in illicit conspicuous consumption for which he stands accused for, the critics have a particular fascination with the now-legendary “golden toilet.” They are somehow certain and claiming that it’s worth $75,000. It may not be solid gold, but nothing says decadence like a gold-plated john.
14. Each Suit Is Worth $5,000
According to Russia Beyond the Headlines, Vlad the Lad, as the British tabloids call him, prefers Italian-tailored suits that cost over $5,000 each, coincidentally about the same as the average annual Russian wage. He especially favours those from Brioni who have dressed Europe’s elite for over a century. The authoritative business newspaper Barron’s, writes that “the brand still bespeaks money, power and success having won a passionate
following among CEOs, movie stars, and assorted world leaders”. You don’t get them at Walmart, people.
13. His Watch Collection Is Worth Over $1 Million
The obscure, but pricey, A. Lange & Söhne could be worth a $500,000 alone, or over three years of his alleged annual salary. One devoted Putin opponent actually examined public photographs of the President and concluded Putin’s watch collection was worth $687,000. Other estimates put it at a cool million. He apparently believes in the importance for the successful autocrat to look sharp and to be punctual. He is rarely, if ever, seen without something impressive on his wrist. For the benefit of assembled media, he likes to give away the cheap $15,000 ones to children and workers.
12. Putin Prefers Helicopters To Cars
The Russian President is said to prefer helicopters over cars. To that end, he has had an indeterminate number of Russian-made Mi8s — definitely an upgrade from limousines. Basic cost before adding leather upholstery, audio system, huge TV, mood lighting, and modern appliances comes out to $4 million. Reflecting its VIP cargo, the Mi8 comes bristling with aggressive countermeasure capabilities. There’s a half-dozen by one count.
11. Putin Has 700 Cars
One outlandish estimate puts his car collection at 700 vehicles, including vintage Bentleys and an array of supercars from Lamborghinis and Ferraris. His business ride has been an armoured Mercedes S-Class Limousine priced at a $250,000. Among other
things, it can go 20 miles at 50 miles/hour even with the tires shot out. Rumour has it that the government has sunk over $50 million into the development of a Russian-made version for the President.
10. Putin Was Gifted A $35 Million Yacht
Cars, watches, and suits are just chump change compared to the real money spent on yachts, planes, and palatial real estate. Much of what is suspected comes from a famous 2012 dossier compiled by an especially-dedicated political opponent which identified a collection of four yachts, each costing a small fortune to maintain at the government’s expense. There is the 57-metre Olympia, worth $35 million, a gift from oligarch Roman Abramovich, better known in the West as the owner of the Chelsea football club of the English Premier League. A BBC documentary claims Putin charges the expenses to the state, though it’s his own personal property. And there’s more where that came from.
9. Bigger And Better, This Baby Is Worth $100 Million
This yacht has 13 cabins that can accommodate 12 guests and 14 crew members, and it’s worth $100 million. It apparently has the largest pool ever installed on a yacht. If they said it came with a crew of mermaids, you’d half believe it. How did he pay for it? Easy — all he had to do was save half his annual salary for 1,200 years.
8. Putin Inherited An Art Collection Worth $2 Billion
That’s Putin on a tour of the Louvre. You wouldn’t guess that he’s a lover of art, but he does seem to have an appreciation for expensive things. In one of the most tantalizing mysteries of all, rumours persist of a heavily-guarded apartment building in downtown Moscow of an art collection worth as much as $2 billion that an elderly couple gifted to their President. The elaborate backstory includes talk of a treasure trove of old masters from Rembrandt to Da Vinci that was hidden from the Bolsheviks during the Revolution, and perhaps even stolen from the Nazis in World War II. There are doubts about the legality of the acquisitions and their authenticity.
7. How Many Planes Does One President Need?
There are, again, multiple allegations concerning Putin’s aircraft. Business Insider says he has access to 58 aircraft, but The New York Times says 43, putting to shame the poor little U.S. President who has to make do with one plane and one helicopter. Total estimated value of the fleet is $1 billion. There is no group photo, so a couple of highlights are worth singling out, like the French-built, 19-seat Dassault Falco.
6. The Golden Plane For The Golden Boy
This has been identified as the Russian version of Air Force One. The Russian-made Ilyushin 96 is said to be the jet bejewelled and gold-plated by Russian artisans for $11 million. It may even have the infamous gold toilet, but there are no photos to confirm it. Not counting the ritzy extras, the price tag is thought to be $500 million and if you believe The Daily Mail, there are four flying around at the same time to disguise which one the President is actually in.
5. Palaces, Mansions, And Villas
Putin watchers count 20 palaces, villas, and residences he either has personally or at least has access to. The ownership of most of them is shrouded in secrecy, shell companies, and hidden transactions. Villa Segren is one of the fanciest. Critics have posted aerial footage of the villa refitted as Putin’s summer cottage since 2010. Originally built for a Russian Czar, the renovations apparently include a billiard room and a swimming pool, with yet more gold.The 50-acre island is audaciously located just 12 miles from the border with Finland and comes with a heavy police presence. The critics call the financing “a standard Putin corruption scheme.”
4. Rod Stewart Is Putin’s Neighbor
This is rich. The Daily Mail says not only has Putin bought 200,000-square-foot, 10-bedroom mansion in an exclusive gated community with rock star Rod Stewart as a neighbour, it has a view of Gibraltar and the beaches of the Costa del Sol an easy drive away too. Did we mention the 22-car garage and the helipad? It also comes with a vineyard featuring an exclusive wine selling for $1,000 a bottle stored in a climate-controlled cellar with French oak barrels worth $1 million. We’re overwhelmed just thinking about it!
3. Putin Palace Has Its Own Casino
It’s been described as the Russian Versailles, the legendary 17th century French Palace that has become synonymous with perverse excess. Putin’s version is in the Russian south near the Black Sea. The main building is said to be 8-million-square-feet on 185 acres near the coast. The alleged $1 billion price tag includes helipads, a casino, indoor theatre, swimming pools, and a church, presumably to atone for the sins of conspicuous consumption. It was apparently all personally approved by the President and financed, according to one critic, “through a combination of corruption, bribery, and theft.” To paraphrase Marie Antoinette who lost her head over too much luxury at Versailles, “Let them eat borscht!”
2. Putin Has A Thing For Alina Kabaeva
Palaces are all very well and good, but what are they without that special someone? And why not make it an Olympic gold medal gymnast and cover girl for Russian Vogue, she is a huge celebrity in her native Russia. She has never been linked romantically to anyone before the rumours about her and Vlad the Lad began. They are even thought to have been secretly married after he divorced his first wife, Lyudmila. And you wouldn’t want to be seen trying to poach Putin’s girl. Kabaeva even became a member of the Russian Parliament for the United Russia party. It has been said that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, so one of the world’s most powerful men must have a certain attraction.
But a few billion in the bank probably didn’t hurt, either.
1. Putin Has An Impressive Stock Portfolio
You’d be toasting life too if you owned 4.5 per cent of Russian oil monster Gazprom plus 37 per cent of oil supply company Surgutneftegaz. The companies’ market capitalizations in 2018 are $58 billion and $20 billion respectively. The U.S Treasury has also declared that “Putin has investments in the huge commodities trader Gunvor and may have access to its funds.” So basically, aside using his people’s money for his own personal, lavish lifestyle, he also has quite the portfolio.
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