Vladimir Putin: Playboy lifestyle of a president
Russian President Vladimir Putin is spending billions of taxpayers’ money on 20 luxurious residences, 43 jets and four yachts, according to a damning new report.
In 2008 he famously compared his life in office to a ‘galley slave’ during a press conference. But now a lavish list of luxuries at his disposal have been revealed by Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister turned Putin critic. Nemtsov estimated that the maintenance of Putin’s residences, jets and cars alone costs £1.6 billion a year.
The 32 page document listed 58 planes and helicopters and 20 homes with opulent fittings worthy of the tsars, not to mention 11 watches which alone are worth several times Putin’s annual salary.
Published under the ironic title ‘The Life of a Galley Slave’, it denounced the lavish spending as an affront to millions of Russians living in dire poverty.
One of the most serious reasons prompting V. Putin to hold on to power is the atmosphere of wealth and luxury to which he has become accustomed,’ wrote the authors.
‘In a country where more than 20 million people barely make ends meet, the luxurious life of the president is a blatant and cynical challenge to society. We absolutely cannot put up with this.’
The Kremlin fleet of luxury yachts may draw comparisons to the lifestyles of Russia’s high-profile business tycoons, the ‘oligarchs’.
One 53.7-metre yacht with a designer interior, a spa pool, waterfall and wine cellar is relegated to second best, it said.
‘The real diamond of the Kremlin flotilla,’ the authors judged, is a five-decked yacht with a jacuzzi, barbecue, a maple wood colonnade and a huge bathroom faced in marble.
The authors also identified from photographs a total of 11 luxury timepieces on the wrist of the head of state and calculated their total value at some £400,000, while noting Putin had declared an annual income less than £700,000.
The text was accompanied by photographs of luxurious homes, jets, helicopters, cars and watches, complete with footnotes citing Russian media as sources for many of the items.
Nine new residences had been added to the list available to the president since Putin first became head of state in 2000, it said.
Homes he could retreat to across the country, ranged from seaside palaces to a ski lodge, and boasted everything from saunas and billiard rooms to a ‘presidential church’.
While not addressing Putin’s personal wealth directly – the president once dismissed talk of him being a billionaire as ‘snot’ from the noses of Western reporters and smeared on paper – it challenged his self-portrayal as ‘your humble servant’ to paint him as a callous, Nero-like figure ignoring the corruption and poverty that has hobbled the economy and blighted lives.
Posted on August 29, 2012, in News and tagged Boris Nemtsov, kremlin diamond, Oligarchs, Playboy lifestyle of a president, Russian President, russians living in poverty, The life of a galley slave, Vladimir Putin. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.