Entertainment And News

Why Putin May Secretly Be The Richest Man In The World Despite Claiming To Live In An 800-Sq-Foot Apartment

Photo: Asatur Yesayants / Shutterstock.com
Vladimir Putin

The height of the pandemic saw the rich getting richer, with multi-billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos elevating their riches to brand new heights — $217.5 B and $172.9 B, respectively.

However, the world’s richest man might not be the “technoking” of Tesla or the Amazon overlord, but another more inconspicuous man who leads an entire nation through greed, corruption, and lies.

Is Vladimir Putin the richest man in the world?

According to the Kremlin, Putin makes a humble salary of $140,000 a year as the “president” and publicly owns an 800-square foot apartment, a trailer, and three cars.

However, these numbers are only what’s on the public record and don’t count any of Putin’s other ill-gotten gains.

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For instance, Putin has been seen and photographed wearing watches that are worth his salary multiple times over, according to Fortune.com.

Not only that but he’s also been rumored to be the owner of a $1.4B Black Sea mansion — reputed to be the largest private residence in the country.

The mansion boasts frescoed ceilings, a marble swimming pool lined with statues of Greek gods, a 27,000 square-foot guest house, and much, much more.

The 40-person staff alone is paid and maintained by $2 million annually, and they all have their own personal dressing rooms.

Aside from the mansion, 19 other homes, and the 700 cars he allegedly owns, he also has a collection of 58 airplanes and helicopters — including a $716 million dollar plane called “The Flying Kremlin” which supposedly has a toilet made of gold.

All of this begs the question: where did he find the money to fund all of these things? And why is none of it on public record?

Well, according to financier Bill Browder, who testified to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017, it was all from a large blackmail scheme that he ran as the President of Russia.

It’s no secret that Russia is a large exporter of oil, and the country is home to some of the richest oligarchs on the planet.

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In 2003, a Moscow court jailed oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky on fraud and tax evasion, leading the other Russian oligarchs to fear for their riches.

"After Khodorkovsky's conviction, the other oligarchs went to Putin and asked him what they needed to do to avoid sitting in the same cage as Khodorkovsky,” Browder said.

“From what followed, it appeared that Putin's answer was, ‘50%’ He wasn't saying 50% for the Russian government or the presidential administration of Russia, but 50% for Vladimir Putin personally."

Whatever 50% means, it was likely enough money to amass Putin’s wealth well over $200 billion, allowing him to purchase all of these assets.

Putin, however, denies these claims, saying that he’s wealthy in another way.

"I am the wealthiest man, not just in Europe but in the whole world: I collect emotions,” he said. “I am wealthy in that the people of Russia have twice entrusted me with the leadership of a great nation such as Russia. I believe that is my greatest wealth."

Of course, as most people know, Putin hasn’t necessarily been entrusted with the leadership of Russia so much as he’s taken control of it, but that’s only according to some rumors.

If Putin truly did amass over $200 billion in a blackmail operation then who knows what other backroom deals he might have made to establish a wealth that could rival the richest men on Earth.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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