Vladimir Putin may portray himself as a man of a people and a president who’s really a peasant at heart, but critics have claimed it’s all a front and the “Russian bear” is sitting on the world’s biggest and most unimaginable fortune.
Although Putin enjoys selling the image of himself as a modest man who drew an income in 2014 of just over £83,000, and lives between two medium sized portents, whilst enjoying a small share in a car parking garage to help supplement his meagre wage from the state, some say Putin has slyly tucked away a nest egg worth £140billion.
Now that’s a lot of dollars. Much more than Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ net worth, in fact, if the claim by hedge fund manager Bill Browder is true, it would make Putin the wealthiest man in creation.
The Mirror reports that in the gangster state that is Putin’s Russia, rumors abound that Putin has has turned colossal corruption into an art form. They then delight in pointing out the old Russian adage that “The fish rots from the head down.”
Still, £140billion is an awful lot of corruption. Enough to fill hell itself twice over. Yet even Putin’s most staunch defenders would be hard pressed to deny that growing rumors of the Russian leader’s “mafia like” spider’s web of personal connections, dodgy deals, big buck corruption, bully boy tactics, and sugar-coated threats haven’t been working out daily on the treadmill for a fair few years now.
Even the U.S. Treasury have added their voice to the choir of critics and accused Putin of accumulating a massive personal wealth through corruption and embezzling state funds.
U.S. Treasury official Adam Szubin was particularly damming of what he views as Putin’s unscrupulous conduct.
“We’re seen him enriching his friends, his close allies, and marginalizing those who he doesn’t view as friends, using state assets. Whether that’s Russia’s energy wealth, whether it’s other state contracts, he directs those to whom he believes will serve him and excludes those who don’t. To me, that is a corruption.”
Angus Roxburgh is something of a Putin expert and wrote a book called The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia. Angus believes the Russian president at heart wants to be a tsar.
“He’s obsessed with power and riches. He behaves like a tsar, believes in himself as a tsar… and probably wants to live like one.
“Putin probably sees wealth simply as his due. He is president of a great country, and in his simplistic view of the world, leaders are rich.”
Although with the exception of his collection of pricey timepieces, Putin appears to keep this suggested wealth extremely well hidden.
However political expert Stanislav Belkovsky claims Putin collects money from the super-rich in the name of state funds and donations, and uses it to line his own pockets.
Putin and his gang of merry men object fiercely to such claims and dismiss all such allegations as “Pure fiction.”
As for Putin himself. The stoic Russian insists he is the wealthiest man in the world, but not in the way materialistic types might think.
“I am the wealthiest man not just in Europe but in the world. I collect emotions. I am wealthy in that the Russian people have twice entrusted me with leadership of a great nation.”
(Photo by Sergei Ilnitsky/AP Images)