Based upon rumors, Vladimir Putin's net worth may actually be higher than Bill Gates, making Russia's leader the richest man in the world. But the Russian leader's salary was recently reduced, and Putin claims he barely pays attention to his own income, so who is telling the truth?
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Ukraine's leader Petro Poroshenko claims Vladimir Putin's enemy Boris Nemtsov died before proving the Russian leader had indeed sent Russian troops into Ukraine. Recently, two men were detained by Russia's Federal Security Service as part of the Nemtsov murder investigation.
The Russian economy has been in the tank largely due to the confrontation over Ukraine, but with the fall of oil prices Russia's GDP is expected to shrink by five percent whereas previously it was expected to grow by several percent. The Russian ruble has already dropped 40 percent in comparison to the U.S. dollar, so the average Russian citizen suddenly had their purchasing power slashed almost in half.
The Russian government has responded to this plight by cutting Vladimir Putin's salary in addition to the salaries for the prime minister, prosecutor general, and the head of investigative committee. A similar pay cut will occur on May 1 for Russia's Cabinet and Kremlin officials. Russia's spending cuts will not affect their military spending at all, and Russia's nuclear weapons arsenal will continue to be upgraded as previously planned.
Officially, Vladimir Putin's net worth is thought to be around $70 billion according to Forbes, which makes the Russian the second-richest man in the world since Bill Gates' net worth is $79.3 billion in 2015. Putin's salary was previously nine million rubles, or $145,000, per year, whereas U.S. President Barack Obama earns $400,000 per year. At the same time, the average salary in Russia is estimated at $17,230, while the U.S. median household income was $51,939 in 2013.
Keep in mind it's difficult to pin the relative value due to the unstable price of the ruble, but based upon Putin's comments in December, he supposedly won't even notice.
"Frankly, I don't even know my own salary — they just give it to me, and I put it away in my account."Unofficially, Russian writer Stanislav Belkovsky claims Vladimir Putin's net worth may be as high as $200 billion, which is difficult to ascertain since wealth can be hidden via shell companies and offshore accounts. Due to this possibility, rumors claim Putin may own much more, yet the Russian leader seems to believe he's earned it.
"As for my personal perception, I am not ashamed before the citizens who voted for me," Putin said back in 2008 according to Value Walk. "All these eight years I worked like a galley slave, to spare no effort. I am happy with the results."
Due to this particular quote, Boris Nemtsov published a report called "The Life of a Galley Slave," which claimed that Putin owns 20 homes, 58 aircraft -- including jets, and many cars, planes, boats, and so on. Officially, Putin only owns two apartments, two cars, and one garage. When relating Vladimir Putin's net worth, Nemtsov said according to the Telegraph that Putin "can be compared with that of the monarchs of the Persian Gulf or the most outrageous oligarchs."
In the end, a true estimate of Vladimir Putin's net worth is almost impossible, although it's possible Bill Gates is unofficially second place. The $200 billion figure is probably an extremely high mark since these estimates are largely based upon Putin's ownership of 37 percent of oil company Surgutneftegaz, 4.5 percent of Gazprom, and "at least" 75 percent of Gunvor. Since these companies rely on oil prices, it's possible Putin's net worth has taken a beating in recent years.
[Image via Trendolizer]