Russian President Vladimir Putin talks the talk to his own people when he calls himself “your humble servant.” That’s most likely based on his official salary of $187,000, the average salary in Russia comes in at $17,230. The truth is that Putin’s wealth is exorbitant and he should be ranked among the wealthiest people in the world.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Forbes Estimates Putin Has $70 Billion
According to Forbes’ 2014 billionaires list, Putin was quoted as having wealth of up to $70 billion. If true, that would make him the second richest person in the world behind Bill Gates. Much of the speculation about Putin’s wealth comes from dissident Russian writer Stanislav Belkovsky. In 2007, he told The Guardian that Putin owned 37% of oil company Surgutneftegaz and a sizable share in natural gas giant Gazprom.
2. He Personally Owns 58 Aircrafts
A 2012 report into Putin’s wealth by the Daily Telegraph, detailed his personal toys, which includes a fleet of 58 different aircraft. The bathroom on one of his planes cost $85,000 to install, it has gold fittings.
His watch collection is valued at over $500,000, he has a palace valued at $340 million on the Black Sea, and a yacht which cost a cool $44 million. Former Russian deputy prime minister, Boris Nemtsov, said that Putin “can be compared with that of the monarchs of the Persian Gulf or the most outrageous oligarchs.”
3. He Has an Inner Circle of Billionaire Pals
A 2012 New York Times report around Putin’s circles just as the Russian president poised to win a new six-year term. Some of those on the inner circle are Yuri Kovalchuk who is valued at $1.5 billion, Gennady Timchenko, whose company moves $70 billion worth of oil per year, he sells his oil mainly to Russia’s state crude company. Also tight with Putin is Arkady Rotenberg, who also shares Putin’s love of Judo, he supplies pipe to Gazprom and is referenced as a “billionaire industrialist” by The New York Times.
4. Condi Rice Said That Putin Benefits From ‘Alleged Illicit Proceeds’
In a Wikileaks cable, former U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice said that Putin was “Vladimir Putin is nervously trying to secure his future immunity from potential law enforcement investigations into his alleged illicit proceeds.” In a Time Magazine interview, Putin was outraged at the suggestion that he (or anyone in his government) was corrupt. The Russian president was asked about the suggestion that those in the Kremlin were getting rich, he said:
Then you know who and how. Write to us, to the foreign ministry, if you are so confident. I presume you know the names, you know the systems and the tools.
I can assure you and everyone who would listen to us, watch us and read us, that the reaction would be swift, immediate, [and] within the prevailing law.
5. Determining Anybody’s Wealth in Russia Is Difficult
In a CNBC report, it’s stated that “wealth in Russia often held through shell companies, offshore accounts and frontmen.” The New York Times reports that Putin is a secret beneficiary to deals done involving Russian state assets and private billionaires.