How rich is Putin
Editorial, World

How rich is Putin? With a monthly salary of 11,329 dollars and a net worth?

A Ukrainian-Russian war has caused European and American governments to impose sanctions on Russia, and more people have begun to pay attention to how rich Putin is? Is he really worth hundreds of billions of dollars as many reports say? “The New York Times” recently published an investigative report, emphasizing that it is very difficult to trace Putin’s wealth because most assets are not only hidden through layers of overseas shell companies; even if the ultimate source can be traced, many assets The owners are the Russian government. This also shows that Putin’s private property and Russian government property have long been mixed.

Allegedly worth as much as $200 billion, but no evidence

There are many speculations and reports about Putin’s worth in mainstream European and American media and on the Internet. According to official data,
Putin’s annual salary is only US$140,000, and he owns an 800-square-foot apartment and 3 cars,
and a trailer. However, his real worth is probably far more than that. Fortune, for example, reported that Putin was photographed wearing a $60,000 Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar and owned a Lange watch worth up to $500,000.

According to Bill Murray, CEO of Hermitage Asset Management, a U.S.-based firm with deep knowledge of Russia.

According to testimony by Bill Browder at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 2017, Putin’s personal wealth may be as high as $200 billion. But most of the above are speculations or indirect evidence from European and American officials and media. Where is the evidence? “The New York Times” well-known investigative reporter Mike. Mike McIntire published a report on April 6 titled “Why Purchasing Putin’s Property Is So Difficult” to highlight the difficulties of investigating the evidence.

The dialogue between the two businessmen provides circumstantial evidence, but it also highlights the difficulty of verification

In the report, Mertekin pointed out that in a 421-page British court document, two businessmen were mentioned in a restaurant in Geneva talking about “a yacht dedicated to Putin.” The document originated in a financial dispute with a shipping company, but it is also the first official court document to mention Putin, and it also provides clues for the British and American governments to trace Putin’s property.

But this clue also proves one thing: Tracking down Putin’s assets is indeed very difficult. “The yacht, called Olympia, is operated by a Cyprus-based company,
and this corporate document shows that the real owner of this company is not Putin, but the Russian government.” McIntyre Er emphasized in the text.

“Indeed, this is one of many examples of the many assets that have long been suspected of being owned by Putin but are actually owned by the state, and it also shows that after more than 20 years of leadership, Putin and his inner circle of private individuals Interests have been mixed with the government,” McIntyre analyzed.

Since the outbreak of the Ukrainian-Russian war, European and American countries have formed a multinational team to track and freeze the properties of at least 50 Russian tycoons, including Putin himself. The U.S. further announced last Wednesday that the property of Putin’s two daughters would be included in the sanctions.

Russian foreign affairs expert Alia. Alina Polyakova analyzed that since government resources and institutions are likely to be used to cover up the so-called Putin’s property, European and American sanctions against Putin will be superficial. “To move him, we have to sanction the entire Russian government,” Boyakova analyzed.

Pandora’s documents exposed, Putin’s mistresses and cronies form a new feudal system

Another report by The Guardian also showed that Putin and his cronies had many assets registered in shell companies in tax havens, under layers of the veil, leading to protracted investigations. For example, in 2003, a sea-view apartment in Morocco quietly changed hands for 3.6 million euros. The owner is a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, and this company is held by two companies registered in Panama.

Later, due to the clues in the “Pandora Papers” (Pandora Papers, the overseas hidden assets of international leaders revealed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) released in October last year, “Guardian,” reporters finally tracked down the behind-the-scenes owners of these companies. : Svetlana Krivonogikh. According to reports, Svetlana met Putin when he was mayor of St. Petersburg and eventually became Putin’s mistress.

“What the Pandora documents reveal is striking enough. Putin did not tame the corporate chaebols. Instead, the outflow of the documents shows the existence of a neo-feudal system. Putin’s friends and KGB colleagues are the beneficiaries. Some of them have achieved enormous wealth on paper.” The Guardian analyzed.

Source: The New York Times, The Guardian, Fortune

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